Practical Advice for Functionally-Illiterate Graffiti Artists

While some assert that the art of graffiti brightens areas of urban decay, others view the medium as evidence of hooligans loose after hours, committing all manner of depraved acts, devaluing property, and propelling neighborhoods into a downward spiral toward hell.

"The Revolution Will Not Be Spellchecked" (Image Source: Flickr)
“The Revolution Will Not Be Spellchecked” (Image Source: Flickr)

Whether one assumes the artistic or the criminal view, we may find mutual agreement in this: these spray can messengers suck at messaging.

Graffiti or “tags” written with correct grammar and syntax improves not only the quality of urban décor, but also the stature of our nation’s spray painting rogues. Rest assured, arguments of property value are rendered invalid when accused “hooligans” demonstrate astute subject-verb agreement. Homeowner associations may see their nighttime escapades in a new light: “Experiential learning now occurring weekly at our Windy Ranch Homes subdivision entrance!”

Let’s take a look at how a tagger’s masterpiece can be transformed into a source of community pride…or not.

GaMgster Graffiti
Graffiti-Fail in Chicago (Image Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Goodness! Don’t we have some “gangsters” here!

Or do we?

The topmost tag, among the largest of the contributions and offset in a blue paint that defies the established color scheme, reads, “GAMGSTER.”

While one might tend to offer leniency to the contributor (e.g. “Well, ‘M’ and ‘N’ are alphabet-adjacent.”), this is exactly when we must hold fast to the insistence of correct spelling.

With a stunning number of examples of the proper letters comprising the word “gangster” are in such close proximity, this tag certainly sinks neighborhood confidence in its spunky youth.

Childrem of our future, imdeed.


Next time: A spray can-wielding homeowner turns the tables on a truck thief, but lack of proofreading damages his street cred!

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