The Great Typo Hunt: This one's for you, Dan Maes

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson set out on The Great Typo Hunt (the two wrote a book about it, and they'll be in town tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a reading), they did it to give a small gift to the world: the gift of good writing. We were inspired. So inspired, in fact, that we felt compelled to follow in those two great men's footsteps, to offer our gift of good grammar to those most in need -- and at this point in his floundering campaign, who needs it more than Dan Maes? Between dismantling the vast U.N.-bicycle conspiracy, fighting crime as secret government agent and running for governor, his time for correcting the numerous grammatical errors on his website is surely limited. In the spirit of public service, we're doing it for him.

Dan Maes is a man of the people, which means that to some extent, he belongs to the people -- like all great leaders, Maes seeks to serve, to represent. That's certainly what he wants to convey, but the people might be a little confused by this:

"I have confidence in the people of Colorado to be too smart for these shenanigans and to seek out a peoples candidate like me whether I have an R, I, or D behind my name."

The phrase "peoples candidate" would seem to imply that he's a candidate made out of peoples -- which, aside from being an unsettling mental image, is also untrue; he is just one man. What he wants there is an apostrophe, but as we can see, it's something he struggles with.

"I oppose the national healthcare plan and support Attorney General Suthers joining of the law suit against it. I oppose it on many levels but primarily I see it as unconstitutional and an intrusion of our states rights. If elected governor I will join the fight against it."

Perhaps he's also opposed to apostrophes, though we can't imagine why, since they promote clarity in sentences and don't cost the taxpayers anything. To be fair, the first error, "Attorney General Suthers joining of the law suit," is a little obscure: The joining of the "law suit" (a suit made of laws? Or "lawsuit?") is an action of A.G. Suthers, meaning that, in a sense, it belongs to the good A.G. -- thus, his name requires an apostrophe behind it, like so: Suthers'. In the case of the second error, Maes surely knows that "states" and "rights" are not just two unrelated plural nouns that just happen to be next to each other; states have rights that belong to them, by God, which would make them "states' rights."

But this next quote would seem to indicate that he's not, in fact, opposed to apostrophes, since he uses one here. Unfortunately, he uses it incorrectly:

"Here are examples of such service:
 Boy Scout Leadership as a teen and in his early 20's."

It's unclear what might be possessed by Maes' early 20, so we're guessing he means to pluralize that number, an action that does not require an apostrophe. So maybe he's not opposed to apostrophes -- he does, however, seem to advocate extremely limited comma usage:

"Also, others are effected as vendors and suppliers when these customers forgo investing and production resulting in more lost jobs fueling the downward spiral."

Besides that he's using "effected" incorrectly (he wants the verb "affect"), it's hard to parse out what he's getting at here. Are we worried about forgoing "investing and production," which would lead to a certain result, or are we worried about forgoing investing and only the specific type of production that results in more lost jobs that fuel the downward spiral? Elsewhere, he opts to exclude the poor comma entirely, resulting in a run-on of somewhat epic proportions:

"Illegal immigration is a problem of all borders not just the southern one and it is a matter of national and state security."

And as long as we're on the subject of immigration, we're confused about what "exisiting" means:

"We must enforce exisiting law per Senate Bill 90 that requires law enforcement to investigate anyone one they have "probable cause" to believe is an illegal alien and act accordingly if that person is here illegally. finally, I will introduce legislation to add more state patrol officers to the illegal immigration division."

Also, sentences generally begin with capital letters.

With implementation of these sometimes-tricky but ultimately steadfast grammatical rules, we're confident Dan Maes will go on to great things, no doubt solving many mysteries and, in the process, ending the scourge of bike-share programs, which promote big government and probably homosexuality.

At the very least, his website will look less like a YouTube comment board.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.