“We’re not here about the misuse of commas or the outright abuse of possessive apostraphe-s in your ad copy. They have been cataloged and coded. We are also well aware of your use of the term ‘literally’ to mean ‘practically’ and ‘could care less’ to mean ‘couldn’t care less’ in both copy and casual conversation. No, Mr. Repard, we have convened this tribunal to discuss the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“Please, you don’t understand! It was just an ad!”

“Ads are still discourse, Mr. Repard, and they inform all discourse to come. For the tribunal: did you or did you not create an advertisement for, and I quote, ‘fuel-efficient tires?'”

“It was just an ad to sell tires!”

“May I remind you, Mr. Repard, that tires consume no fuel and therefore cannot be fuel efficient?”

“Please, I just meant that the tires increase the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle! I had limited ad space!”

“If that’s what you meant, that’s what you should have said. The Semiotics Tribunal will now render its verdict.”

“Guilty.”

“Guilty.”

“Guilty. Hereby sentenced to 18 months in the semicolon mines of San Serriffe. Dismissed!”

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