Thursday, May 20, 2010

Physical Graffiti

This friendly little neighborhood sign greets visitors and passersby. The first time our family saw it, Juli, Lydia and I were all bothered by the absence of an apostrophe in the word "dogs." This house is on a route that I frequently use when I'm walking or jogging (i.e. shuffling along), and finally I decided something needed to happen.

So please note the blue apostrophe. Now as anyone who has read this blog well knows, I'm no grammatical wizard--or mental wizard of any variety. But action was necessary here. I felt the neighbor's indignation would carry greater persuasive power with the apostrophe. It was an act of neighborly love.

Now I've never defaced property before (and I'm not saying that I did it in this case either, please note), but I think the entire neighborhood is resting easier this evening. Certainly they enjoy greater clarity of mind.

I'm confident that one major question that troubled the graffiti artist was whether to make the sign say "dogs'" or "dog's." It was a tough call, and I hope your comments here don't force that person to go back and alter it to "dogs'." That would be a most unwelcome task. If so, the graffiti artist might have to carry a sign that says, "This body is not a rifle range target."


Technoprairie said...

But what if a dog owner has TWO dogs that need to use the toilet?? "Dog's" just won't apply. Maybe you should attach an asterick and write *or dogs' at the bottom. Just a helpful hint for a helpful neighbor.

Mike Bailey said...


Andy D. said...

An excellent point. And what about cats? Why do they get a free pass to reign over the yard? And would they know not to "go" without a warning sign? Probably not. They're just cats! I suspect the same lack of forethought that led your neighbor to mispunctuate the sign also led her to forget to add cats cat's or cats'.

Which leads us to you, the solution, oh Maestro with the Blue Pen.


Claudia said...

So...the middle school in my neighborhood had "Our Teacher's Rock" on their outdoor sign last week. Unfortunately they took the sign down before I could ask to see the teacher's rock. I'm guessing that the rock was NOT outside the English teacher's room.

Mike Bailey said...

Claudia--I had to read that out loud to figure out what was intended by the sign.

Can you hear me cringing from there?