Accidental Proof-Blogging Month Continues!

I never really intended all these recent posts to be spelling/grammar/punctuation-related; maybe finding nice sites like The Engine Room has rubbed off on me.

But yesterday’s news broke the story of a superfluous “not” in an Arkansas law that allows little kids to get married, provided they aren’t pregnant:

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — An error in a new law that allows Arkansans of any age — even toddlers — to marry with parental consent must be fixed by lawmakers, not an independent commission authorized to correct typos, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Something about the idea of “an independent commission authorized to correct typos” is utterly endearing.  And there are few things (okay, maybe not) sadder than a bunch of proofreader-types thwarted in their work.  Stupid judge.

Nor is this the only Arkansas-related typo story to make the news this year: in spring 2007, a lawmaker filed a resolution to make the official possessive of Arkansas “Arkansas’s.”  This was simultaneously inspiring and sad.  Inspiring, of course, because politicians rarely seem to take an interest in such details, and the South particularly has an undeserved reputation for illiteracy* that should rightly be combatted at every turn.  Sad, of course, because the five zillion grammar books currently available should tell any interested person that the possessive of Arkansas should be “Arkansas’s,” but people are so uninterested that the only way to cut back on error is to make it THE LAW.

*“Undeserved” mainly because the rest of you also tend to be pretty darned illiterate.  Yes, I’m afraid so.

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