Members of the Red Pencil Faction of the P.L.O. (Pedants for Literacy Organization) clashed with riot police on the steps of the Library of Congress yesterday morning. Carrying signs that read "'Irregardless' is Not a Word!" and "'General Consensus' is Redundant!", the group was said to be incensed by rumors that text messages and Twitter feeds containing text shortcuts and emoticons were being preserved in that institution.
Police responded to the rioters with tear gas and rubber bullets and the unruly crowd of rowdy nerds was quickly subdued. Several people were injured. One police officer was taken to the hospital after being struck in the head with a boxed set of the O.E.D. (complete with magnifying glass).
Reportedly, the NSA had intercepted hand-written messages composed in the splinter group's signature style, a Copperplate cursive hand unique to radical grammarians. Homeland Security was advised of the group's plans.
Reaction to the event spread quickly. A fundamentalist anti-grammarian preacher in Florida burned a copy of Strunk and White in the parking lot of his store-front church, shouting, "These people are practicing pedagogy on our children and must be stopped!" Responding to charges that he was an illiterate fool, he said, "My mammy and pappy were married in the sight of the Lord. Maybe not to each other, but they were married."
Across the country, moderate grammarians were attacked in their homes and on the streets. A spokesman for the moderates appealed for calm. "We only use grammar to communicate," he said. "Please, proper syntax is not harmful to the nation. It can even be found in the Constitution."