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On the Light Side

December 12, 1989

ADDISON, Texas (AP) _ Police in this town 20 miles north of Dallas are stopping motorists if they’re driving courteously. Then, they pay them.

Police are handing out $20 cash certificates until Christmas Eve to good drivers. Cash-winning behavior includes allowing someone to change lanes or letting a car into the road during bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The Christmas-season program, courtesy of the Addison Police Department and Addison Rotary Club, is in its fifth year. Last year, 200 drivers received the certificates.

″Texas is known as the ‘Friendly State.’ We wanted to encourage that Texas spirit in Addison by rewarding friendly drivers during the holiday season,″ Addison Rotary Club President Sam Zarro said.

Police Capt. Tommy Buchanan said some drivers aren’t all that nice when police pull them over.

″Some of them are upset when you first stop them, but when they find out, they get an attitudinal change,″ Buchanan said.

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) - Walt Disney Pictures is the winner of the 1989 Dunce Cap Award by SPELL, the Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature, for the popular film, ″Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.″

It should have been ″Honey, I Shrank the Kids.″

SPELL, a 2,000-member, non-profit organization based in Mountain View, confers the annual awards on ″perpetrators of especially egregious errors in usage, spelling and punctuation inflicted on the public’s sensibilities.″

Richard Lederer, author of ″Anguished English,″ ″Get Thee to a Punnery,″ and ″Crazy English,″ is the sole judge.

″We’re not grammar police, as some people have called us,″ said William S. Penn Jr., SPELL’s vice president and a retired business professor at San Jose State. ″We’re just people who think the English language should be saved from the careless and ignorant.″

A Disney official defended the use of ″shrunk.″

″It was done deliberately. It was not an error,″ said the official, who wouldn’t give his name. ″That’s what Rick Moranis, the father in the movie, says: ″Honey, I shrunk the kids.″ The title was taken from that.″

And it worked, the official said: The film grossed more than $129 million.

SPELL’s dart wasn’t news to Disney. Dozens of people wrote or called to point it out, the official said.

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