Thursday, December 30, 2010

Over the Counter #35

The latest book to catch my eye as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner was The Great Typo Hunt - Two Friends Changing the World One Cor^rection at a Time by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson. I have to admit - it drives me nuts when I see your and you're misused. Care to share what bothers you or any signs you've caught?

From the publisher Crown Publishing:

"The signs of the times are missing apostrophes.

The world needed a hero, but how would an editor with no off-switch answer the call? For Jeff Deck, the writing was literally on the wall: “NO TRESSPASSING.” In that moment, his greater purpose became clear. Dark hordes of typos had descended upon civilization… and only he could wield the marker to defeat them.

Recruiting his friend Benjamin and other valiant companions, he created the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL). Armed with markers, chalk, and correction fluid, they circumnavigated America, righting the glaring errors displayed in grocery stores, museums, malls, restaurants, mini-golf courses, beaches, and even a national park. Jeff and Benjamin championed the cause of clear communication, blogging about their adventures transforming horor into horror, it’s into its, and coconunut into coconut.

But at the Grand Canyon, they took one correction too far: fixing the bad grammar in a fake Native American watchtower. The government charged them with defacing federal property and summoned them to court—with a typo-ridden complaint that claimed that they had violated “criminal statues.” Now the press turned these paragons of punctuation into “grammar vigilantes,” airing errors about their errant errand..

The radiant dream of TEAL would not fade, though. Beneath all those misspelled words and mislaid apostrophes, Jeff and Benjamin unearthed deeper dilemmas about education, race, history, and how we communicate. Ultimately their typo-hunting journey tells a larger story not just of proper punctuation but of the power of language and literacy—and the importance of always taking a second look."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


Dorte H said...

This one sounds interesting, and as a teacher, I am also chasing typos and wrong or missing apostrophes much of the time. I like when I can find funny examples such as when I teach my classes the importance of commas:

"We are ready to eat children."
"We are ready to eat, children."

Pam said...

Ha! This sounds like a fun one.