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Arianna's apostrophe

December 18th, 2002

Taking a break from corporate corruption and the war of the rich against the poor, Arianna Huffington focuses on America’s apostrophe catastrophe, one which is at least as bad in Australia, where any plural word can come with a free apostrophe. She defends spending time on this trivial issue saying

sometimes a small thing like this can have much bigger ramifications.

Think of it as the literary equivalent of the broken-windows theory of crime fighting, which holds that by fighting small quality-of-life crimes like graffiti and vandalism, police send a persuasive message that antisocial behavior, of any scale, will not be tolerated. In this case, putting an end to the chronic misplacement of apostrophes could eventually lead to a better-educated populace, a greater sense of harmony and order, more fuel-efficient cars, a slimmer, trimmer you, cleaner air, an end to the heartbreak of psoriasis, the cancellation of “The Bachelor,” and, who knows, maybe even world peace.

At this point, if Arianna were a blogger, she would surely invoke George Orwell. Mercifully, she doesn’t.

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