Kelvington, SK – A rural community is grieving the loss of two residents after an argument at a local bar Sunday over the Oxford comma escalated into fatal violence.
42-year-old Graham King, who sustained 13 stab wounds in his heart, lungs, and right kidney, was pronounced dead at the scene. 38-year-old Edward Smith was hospitalized for life-threatening injuries, but died three hours later, surrounded by his wife, parents, and sister.
Security footage shows the conflict, which starts with Smith complaining about the decreasing English proficiency among native speakers. As evidence, he cites “somebody on Facebook [who] got their DNA test results and claimed they were related to ‘two nuclear physicists, John Diefenbaker and Vlad the Impaler.’”
King interrupts Smith’s subsequent speech on the comma’s importance. Several muffled examples of sentences in which the comma, or lack thereof, might cause confusion can be heard, after which King shouts, “Only an elitist lunatic would use the damned thing!”
Smith retorted by stating “You must have been raised in a fucking barn not to,” as the argument quickly devolves. King smashes his beer bottle on the counter and slices open Smith’s chest. Smith retaliates, and the two soon move out of the frame.
A self-described “agrammatical” friend of both men, Walter Miller, said in an interview that he attempted to separate King and Smith, but was soon forced out of the fray to avoid being cut himself. According to Miller, the fight ended after approximately five minutes, with both combatants severely injured, semiconscious, and unrepentant.
Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan released a statement on Monday morning, condemning the violence and offering his thoughts and prayers. He also called on all Saskatchewanians to “overcome our differences and treat each other with love, kindness and respect [sic].” The first poll taken after the release of this statement found that his support had dropped by 17 points.
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