Punctuation Matters! Here is Proof.

We at DiSalvo & CO, CPA, love to read consumerist.com.  We learn things you just don’t see anywhere else these days.  Here is what we learned this week.

Payroll Services Vero Beach FloridaIt pays to read everything carefully — or rather, you might not have to pay a fine if you’re as sharp-eyed as one Ohio woman. She ended up having a parking citation tossed by an appeals court, all because she noticed there was a comma missing in the local law.

As anyone who has ever written a sentence knows, punctuation is of the utmost importance. And in one Ohio village, English teachers are likely sighing and shaking their heads at a grammar mishap involving the local law on parking regulations.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the 12th District Court of Appeals overturned a parking violation [PDF] for a woman living in West Jefferson. She’d been convicted in municipal court for leaving her pickup parked on a village street for more than 24 hours.

But she pointed out that the municipal ordinance prohibited “any motor vehicle camper, trailer, farm implement and/or non-motorized vehicle” from daylong parking.


 The comma ( , ) is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in various languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text.


 

The comma ( , ) is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in various languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text.
Her truck, she said, is not a motor vehicle camper. It is a motor vehicle, which would’ve been covered if the law had a comma where it should’ve.

The village argued that it was just a typo and therefore didn’t invalidate her violation. The trial court upheld that view, saying that when reading the ordinance in context, it unambiguously applied to motor vehicles and “anybody reading [the ordinance] would understand that it is just missing a comma.”

Grammar won the day, however, after the court sided with the truck owner.

“If the village desires a different reading, it should amend the ordinance and insert a comma,” Judge Robert A. Hendrickson wrote.

Oh, snap.

Thanks to Consumerist.com, and the Columbus Dispatch for reminding us that the comma still matters.

This information brought to you by DiSalvo & Co, CPA, with offices in Vero Beach, Titusville, and Melbourne, FL.

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