Spotted in Little Rock: a sign telling drivers about an ongoing road improvement project, with the following tag line: “Little Rock…Making Improvements for It’s Citizens.”
You’d think a city government responsible for the health and welfare of 183, 133 citizens could manage to spell one of the most basic words in the English language. Then again, this *is* Arkansas. These people marry their cousins even though it’s illegal, microwave babies, and think cell phone holsters are the height of sophistication.
Most of us learned the difference between “its” and “it’s” somewhere in grade school. This is a contraction, in which two words have been jammed together in a noble effort to eradicate writer’s cramp. I realize most people think grammar is lame and don’t understand why anyone would care, but it isn’t lame. It does matter, and everyone should care.
After all, someone who works for this city wrote that slogan. Someone proofed it. Someone produced the sign. Someone probably proofed a draft of the sign. Is it really okay that none of these people can read, spell, or operate a computer well enough to use spell check? And these are the people in charge of an entire city? The people I trust with my general welfare on a daily basis? It is not okay that they can’t spell, because if they can’t do that…what else can’t they do?
There are things that separate us from the animals, and these are things we should always hold dear: showers, soap, Mongolian BBQ, and punctuation. Just think…if language became a free for all, your boss could write you an email that said, “Bold for the good word and fix it’s tree,” and you’d have to figure out what the hell he/she meant.