A self-proclaimed “grammar vigilante” has made it his mission to correct the improper use apostrophes across the city of Bristol, UK. With his handy “apostrophiser” in hand, a tool designed specifically for the work, he works to remove misplaced apostrophes with adding ones that are missing from area signage. And he’s been on the job for over 13 years.
This warrior for well-written words says he travels through different streets throughout the city looking for errors that need correction. One local business manager, Paul from Cambridge Motor’s, did catch the vigilante in the act when he corrected a misused apostrophe that had been on his radar for years.
When Paul confronted the man, who was working to scrub off permanent marker on a sign, the vigilante responded, “You’ve got a rogue apostrophe there.” Paul then decided to let the man finish his work.
Not every business operating in Bristol has welcomed the intervention. Jason Singh, the owner of the tailoring shop Tux & Tails, says he faces a significant financial expense to have a sign that was corrected by the vigilante replaced in the future.
The issue on the Tux & Tails sign is a missing apostrophe in “Gentlemens.” The vigilante corrected the sign, using what Singh says “appears to be two blobs of paint, or stickers, that do not sit well with the newly fitted vinyl.” Singh continued, “I understand, but at the end of the day I’d have preferred him to come in and tell me,” and says that, if the name of the vigilante is ever revealed, “I’ll be sending him an invoice for the damages.”
Local authorities confirm that permanent damage is grounds for police intervention. However, a spokesman for the Avon and Somerset Police stated they were unaware of any current complaints against the vigilante.
As reported by The Telegraph, this citizen for proper punctuation has yet to reveal his identity. However, he states his mission involves bringing an end to the misuse of language. This point leads some critics to suggest the “grammar vigilante” should start by correcting his name, as certain issues associated with the improper use of apostrophes are technically not grammatical in nature.