Friday, July 26, 2019

Grammar schooled

When it comes to grammatical pedantry, I'm often guilty as charged (in my defence, that is pretty much my job). But the list of rules that Jacob Rees-Mogg, newly annointed leader of the House of Commons, has sent to his staff is, like his recently published book The Victorians, "staggeringly silly".

Rees-Mogg has hardly come across as a man of the people before, but this just confirms his status as a pompous buffoon of the highest order (as well as being someone who holds genuinely repellent views). He's also wrong - both in spelling "full stop" as a single word and in insisting that there should be double spaces after every one. The latter practice is a hangover from the days of the typewriter and thus maintaining it now, in the digital age, is an archaic affectation. Much like Rees-Mogg himself, to be fair.

Mind you, outlawing commas after "and" is fair enough - what kind of savage does that? Unless, Jacob, you meant to ban the Oxford comma and cocked up the wording of your own rules...

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