Graffiti is a common sight in most world cities, and Quito, Ecuador, is no different. But there is something unique about the graffiti in this South American capital. Quito is home to a small group of grammar vigilantes, known as Acción Ortográfica Quito (Quito Orthographic Action). The three men in the group, who choose to remain anonymous, have taken it upon themselves to correct the spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar mistakes in graffiti around the city. Celebrated on social media, the stealth editing work, according to one of the grammar guerrillas, is “something to entertain the city, to make it less serious.”
Power to the people who edit:
- Calling themselves Punto Final, Agente X, and Agente Diéresis, the anonymous trio, clad in hoodies and ski masks, gleefully take photos of defective graffiti diatribes, make spray-painted edits, and then post their handiwork online.
- The group’s name was chosen to mock Acción Poética, a guerrilla poetry movement in Latin America that began 20 years ago in Monterrey, Mexico.
- In an interview, Punto Final points out the irony: “If someone starts correcting vandalism through vandalism ... you would be putting some kind of order in something that has no rules.”