Homicide victims and grammar terrorists

It’s been a while since I shared some non-sensical use of the English language here. My good pal Monika, currently resident of Brisbane, sent me this and I had to share it. Have a look:

Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group

Anything strike you as strange about that? It comes from the Brisbane “Inner and Southern Suburbs” Yellow Pages. And let’s be honest, how much support does a homicide victim really need? Talk about locking the barn after the horse has bolted. I bet they would have really liked some support right before they became a homicide victim. Some serious backup right about then would have been fantastic.

Obviously, they do a completely different service. According to their website:

24 hr emotional support, personal advocacy and information to all people affected by homicide throughout Queensland.

But that’s not what they actually say in their name now, is it.

And on the subject of erroneous use of the language, here are a couple of guys that deserve medals. Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson couldn’t help themselves and had to correct the grammar on a sign at the Grand Canyon National Park. “Authorities” (and let’s use that word cautiously) said that Deck kept a diary and in it he had written that he and Herson used a marker to cover an erroneous apostrophe, put the apostrophe in its proper place with correction fluid and added a comma.

There was also a misspelled word (“emense”) that was not corrected by these linguistic vigilantes because, “I was reluctant to disfigure the sign any further. … Still, I think I shall be haunted by that perversity, emense, in my train-whistle-blighted dreams tonight.”

The sign that needed correction

These poor bastards pleaded guilty to conspiracy to vandalise government property and were sentenced to a year’s probation, during which they cannot enter any national park or modify any public signs. (I like the implication that they can modify public signs again once the year is up.) They were also ordered to pay $3,035 to repair the sign. Repair it? Three grand! For a sign that was hand written in the first place? They should have been paid three grand each for their vigilance.

Full story here.


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6 thoughts on “Homicide victims and grammar terrorists

  1. Two Definition of Victim (taken from http://www.answers.com/topic/victim)

    3. One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition: victims of war.
    4. A person who suffers injury, loss, or death as a result of a voluntary undertaking: You are a victim of your own scheming.

    Under definition 3, someone who suffers from an act of homicide (rather than the more obvious victim) is still classified as a victim, and perfectly elegible for support.

    Are you now injured as a result of your own scheming? 😉

    As for the park sign – fairly ridiculous…although with a bit of digging I found out the sign was of historic interest – it had been written by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect who built the watchtower and other landmarks in the Grand Canyon area.

  2. I LOVE this sort of thing, Alan! Good call.

    I’m the sort of person who will go around and alter ungrammatical signs if I think I won’t get caught. But my especial love is doing it to notices in the supermarket.

    Foss has some great images: a menu on which is noted “Crap Soup” instead of Crab Soup, and ‘Bred’ instead of ‘Bread’. haha

    Even if you didn’t look up ‘victim’ I think that getting into the definition in all its gory details is a bit much given that it’s hilarious on the first reading. That’s what counts, right? x

  3. Absolutely. Nothing really funny bears close examination. 🙂

    Your comment reminds me of a restaurant we performed for once (in my other life as a Kung Fu man). It as a Chinese restaurant in Burwood and we did a Lion Dance and demo to celebrate the opening. Afterwards they sat us all down for a free feed. Newly opened, brand new shiny menus, first item:

    Dick in Special Sauce.

    I laughed for days.

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