A missing comma got a woman out of hefty parking fine.

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Don’t hate, punctuate.

Grammar nerds the world over are rejoicing at the news that a missing comma has absolved a US woman of a parking citation and a hefty parking ticket.

Andrea Cammelleri got off her parking fine thanks to one missing comma. Image via iStock.

It’s not as good as someone who misused punctuation actually being prosecuted for their crimes, but it’s still pretty good.

Here’s what happened: Ohio woman Andrea Cammelleri was given a parking ticket for leaving her pickup (I think that’s American for ute) in a restricted area for more than 24 hours.

The warning sign in the area said that various vehicles are not permitted to park there for longer than 24 hours, including “any motor vehicle camper, trailer, farm implement and/or non-motorized vehicle”.

Cammelleri saw this sign, and thought to herself (I imagine), ‘Well, I don’t own a motor vehicle camper – what even is that? I’m a proud pickup driver, so I guess I’ll just park myself right here for just as long as I like.’

The problem is the comma, or lack thereof, between the words motor vehicle and camper. It should’ve been “motor vehicle, camper”.

Cammelleri woke up the next day and peered outside her window for a glimpse of her beloved 1993 Ford pickup, only to discover it was gone. She thought it was stolen and called 911 and was informed that it had been impounded.

She was shocked and mortified. Had she not checked the sign?

Cammelleri argued that the fine she was issued did not apply because “the language prohibits a motor vehicle camper from being parked out on the street for an extended period of time”.

The legal documents in Andrea Cammelleri’s case.

Awesome Judge Robert A. Hendrickson concurred and threw out her case in an Ohio appeals court.

The city argued that the meaning of the sign was clear enough, but the judge ordered that they amend it.

That’s one for the good guys, folks! Subeditors everywhere are planning a big night out to celebrate.

I’ll meet you guys at any restaurant not serving “pizza’s”.

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Excellent news for anyone bemoaning the downfall of good grammar.


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