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:

Here’s what it looks like on CTV:

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.

* 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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