Election Time!

So today I did my civic duty™ and voted in the local mayoral election. I wasn’t alone, either; according to the local access channel (which is the only channel actually covering the local election, since it was also election day in the capital and around the province), there was almost a 40% voter turnout. I have no idea if that’s high, low, or meh.

Anyways. I cast my ballot, went and got flang about (this being a judo night), went to Tim Horton’s and got interviewed re: the election in the parking lot, and then came home. Hoping to find some info, I traipsed over to the local newspaper’s website, and got this:

Brandonsun.com will be down for maintenance until Thursday Morning (October 26th). Sorry for the inconvience.

What? What kind of fool kills the website for the only paper in town on election night? Crap.

But they’re on the local access channel, like I said, so at least I now know that the incumbent has a walloping 63% of the vote, with about 25% of the polls reporting. So it doesn’t look like any of the members of the so-called three-handcuff circus* will be getting in…

The coverage of the election reminded me this evening of one of my pet grammatical peeves. Bear with me; this may seem pedantic. (Well, actually, it is pedantic. But this is my blog, so I’ll do what I like.)

Now, ever since Microsoft added the so-called “Smart” Quotes to Word, their word processor, I’ve always gone in, found the setting in Tools->Options, and disabled them. Why? Because they’re stupid, that’s why.

“Smart” Quotes work fine in the context they’re intended: wrapping a word or phrase in matching quotes. The problem comes in when you try to use them in a contraction like ’tis or ’06 (when you’re so lazy you’d rather type ’06 instead of 2006).

So let’s say, for instance, that you want to have a big, huge header on your TV screen that says “ELECTION ’06”. Here’s what it should look like:
ELECTION ’06

Here’s what it looks like on CTV:
ELECTION ‘06

Note the apostrophe. If you can’t see the difference, you’re insufficiently uptight about grammar. Sometimes I’m amazed I ever went on dates.

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* We’ve got three out of six mayoral candidates who have history with the law. One was convicted of fraud about 15 years ago, served his time, and is now trying to get his conviction overturned; one went to court today on various charges; and a third goes to court on October 30th for his part in an alleged assault on another candidate. I tell you, at least it ain’t boring.

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