A Bristolian man has been going out under cover of night and correcting the grammar on his city’s shop front signs.
The self-titled ‘grammar vigilante’ has waged war on Bristol’s bad grammar for thirteen years, keeping the streets safe from stray apostrophes and the cold, hard, misplaced full stop.
The anonymous crusader, who is an engineer by day, has been donning a disguise befitting the everyday hero he truly is for over a decade.
The vigilante told the BBC it all started back in 2003 when he spotted a city council sign emblazoned with ‘ridiculous apostrophes’.
With perfect prose, he elaborated:
The first one I did was way back in 2003. There was a council sign that said ‘Open Monday’s to Friday’s’ and it had these ridiculous apostrophes. I was able to scratch them off.
Then there was this really gross sign in Gloucester Road: ‘Amy’s Nail’s’. It was just so loud and in-your-face I just couldn’t abide it, so I had to go and apply my wares to this apostrophe. It grates – I think, how can they?
The engineer has even created a specially-designed tool to effectively scrub out shop owners’ grammar mishaps, which he calls ‘The Apostrophiser’.
The grammar vigilante, who uses stickers rather than paint to make his changes, says his ‘heart is pounding’ during his work, but denied his alterations amounted to criminal damage.
It’s a worse crime to have all these errant apostrophes on shops and garages. I just think it’s going to teach the youth of tomorrow the wrong grammar.
After all, some local business owners have expressed gratitude for his actions – tantamount to the most passive aggressive English language lesson you’ve encountered since primary school.
The owner of Cambridge Motors – formerly of the signage, ‘Cambridge Motor’s’ – told the BBC:
I thank him for what he’s done. I don’t mind at all. It’s good to see people still caring about English grammar.
This guy is the ultimate case of Eats, Shoots and Leaves.