While vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey last summer, my family and I couldn’t help hamming it up at a tourist photo stand. Seemed harmless enough. Little did I know I would be participating in the spread of mispunctuation. Posing behind a wooden cut-out of a lifeguard, I stood beside a sign that read:
” Water temp: Perfect
Air temp: Just right to let the kid’s swim”
An icy shiver runs up my back as I force myself to type this egregious mistake.
Who is this lucky kid who gets to swim all by himself or herself? And what are we letting his or her swim do?
To think that hundreds— nay, possibly thousands!— had their pictures taken with this cut-out, blissfully unaware of the monstrosity a mere foot or so from their heads. It’s enough to make a grammar-nut sick. So I beg you, Wildwood, please proofread your signs so that no future generations of tourists may accidentally fall victim to improper punctuation. Do it for the children who need to learn proper punctuation to one day lead successful lives. (Exagerrated? Ok, maybe.) Do it for the New Jersey public school system that teaches students to avoid such mistakes. (At least I’m hoping. I went to Catholic school in Philadelphia, so I really have no idea.) Or at the very least, do it for us language obessessed who will sleep a little sounder knowing there is one less source of bad punctuation in the world.