The grammar police (me) visit an abortion rally
Like 61% of Americans, I was appalled at the massive curtailment of abortion rights that the Supreme Court recently handed down with the reversal on Roe vs. Wade and went to the capitol to protest. The turnout was impressive and the passion was palpable. However, the rhetorical fire was counterbalanced with some just god-awful grammar. The speeches were bad, but the signs were worse. They were all grammatically deficient – confusing at best, almost always had multiple contradictory meanings and at worst, made no sense at all. A sampling of the biggest offenders follows…
Keep your rosaries off my ovaries
The grammatically correct way to say this is “Keep your rosaries off of my ovaries.”
Hot people are pro choice
Looking at that crowd, this one was an obvious lie as there wasn’t a single good looking person around. Unless they were being literal, in which case it was 100% accurate as it was pushing 100 degrees in the shade.
Fuck the patriarchy
Is this a command to have sex with the patriarchy or a request for the patriarchy to fuck off?
Repo rights are human rights
While I do believe that both the repossession of products where payments are not being made and the sale and repurchase of assets are both important functions in society, I am not sure that they rise to the level of human rights.
stop fucking republicans
My favorite sign of all… a complete lack of capitalization and punctuation combined with the power of the English language and the amazing flexibility of the word “fuck” leads to the most incomprehensible sign there. There are 4 separate (very different) ways to interpret this…
- Fuck as a verb, a command for everyone to stop having sex with republicans (you can fuck anyone else tho)
- Fuck as an adjective, a command to stop just the republicans who fuck (but the republicans who don’t fuck are ok)
- Fucking republicans as a noun phrase, a command to stop just the republicans who fuck other republicans (but the republicans who fuck others are ok)
- Or if you just don’t like republicans, it’s a general statement to stop them all (tho “stop the fucking republicans” would have been clearer, IMHO)
The addition of a comma is another way to change the meaning entirely…
stop fucking, republicans
- This is a nicer request to the republicans to stop fornicating (but everyone else is still free to fuck)
The addition of a period, completely changes this again…
stop. fucking republicans
- a request to stop followed by an observation of more than one copulating republican
- a request to stop followed by an observation of disgust regarding of a group of republicans
Look, all I’m saying is that if you can’t trust 60’s era Batman, who can you trust… good grammar is essential!