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I also offer personally-tailored, individualized English conversation practice (including etiquette) and coaching in writing techniques. Finally, I edit texts such as magazines, business proposals, memorandums, emails so they are presented in English which does not embarrass you or your organization. For further details, please mail me at: language.etiquette@gmail.com

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24 January 2017

Grammar police and a delinquent politician

The picture Pete posted
(see third quote)
A passionately mediocre politician in Scotland, called Margaret Mitchell MSP (Conservative), recently posted an advertisement for her compassion on Facebook - something to do with the cost to the public authorities of vandalism in Scotland - which ended with her saying we should "address the problem." I posted an objection to this phrase, under one of my many assumed names:

Dear Mrs Mitchell,
You "address" an issue, but you "solve" a problem.
Do you have any figures about how much vandalism to the English language costs the Scottish tax-payer?
Your sincerely,
Hamilton Ursqhuattle, M.A. (Kint.)

Within five minutes (literally) the whole comment was taken down from Her Marggieness's page and I blocked from it. I then posted this:

I commented on Margaret Mitchell MSP's ropey grammar about five minutes ago. ALREADY the whole comment has been removed or blocked. She really must have a complex about her lack of education - which starts with speaking your own language correctly and, if possible, elegantly - how sad for a grown-up woman in public life!

A friend from Australia, then accused me pictorially of acting like the grammar police, to which I answered as follows: 

No, no, no, Pete! I am happy for ordinary people to use the language any way they like. I am NOT happy that PUBLIC FIGURES (like members of the Scottish parliament) who continually try to control public behaviour get away with language which the more literate among us would not understand correctly. Since language in a law-abiding society is the chief weapon of control, then it behoves our wannabe controllers to use it precisely, clearly and correctly.

That remains my position. 

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