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Graffiti and Grammar
My moth­er sent me this in an email, though it’s orig­i­nal­ly from The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Diary in The New York Times. I so plan to use it in the gram­mar class I am teach­ing this semes­ter:

Dear Diary:

While wait­ing for the next shut­tle from Times Square to Grand Cen­tral, I notice an ad for an inter­na­tion­al bank. The bill­board shows a Joe Six-Pack type on his reclin­er in front of the tele­vi­sion, can of beer in hand, but has an eco­log­i­cal theme. The cap­tion reads, “Recy­cling one can saves enough ener­gy to pow­er a tele­vi­sion for three hours.”

Direct­ly below the cap­tion, four graf­fi­ti writ­ers in suc­ces­sion have weighed in, the first chid­ing:

1) ‘One CAN save’

Or

2) ‘One SAVES.’

Nev­er ‘One can saves.’ ”

Beneath which, the sec­ond explains:

They’re talk­ing about an actu­al can.”

Beneath which, a third com­ments:

I love a city where graffiti’s about gram­mar.”

Beneath which, the fourth adds sim­ply:

Word.”

–Jeff Honig

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