Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Dangerous Driving, Saudi Diet-watchers and Anyone Misplaced an Apostrophe?

For Christmas a year or so ago, I was given a book called Eats, Shoots and Leavesan amusing commentary on grammatical correctness. It dealt with the confusion that can result when punctuation is either left out or added incorrectly. In an entirely readable manner, it explained such things as the Oxford Comma, making it seem as plain as the nose on your face to those who had either never heard of it, or just never grasped it.

I often think of Eats, Shoots and Leaves as I’m driving round and about Riyadh. In particular, it’s the errant possessive apostrophe which makes me smile. Take this for instance.

A college for just one teacher? Surely not. Moreover if there’s a grammatical mistake made on the front of a building which purports to be a model educational infrastructure - training teachers for goodness sake – what does it say about the standard of literacy within? Best not  to think about it, I tell myself as the lights in front of us turn green and we drive on past this grim fa├žaded building.