Polly Hudson: Rees-Mogg’s new rules seem harsh – so here are mine

Jacob Rees-Mogg has set some rules that must be obeyed by everyone in his office.

He’s banned the word “hopefully” – Tories always take away hope – and demanded that there be a double space after full stops. Monster. He also won’t let people use a comma after the word “and”, and I believe that is outrageous.

He has got one thing right though. A list of deal-breakers that you can furnish your associates with is an excellent idea.

That way no one can say they didn’t know, can they?

Mine is obviously far, far too long to fit in here, but this is how it begins…

If you walk past someone carrying a bunch of flowers, always resist the urge to ask if they are for you.

If you walk past someone you know on a bike, always resist the urge to point in the opposite direction and say, “The Tour de France is that way!”

If you walk past someone washing their car, always resist the urge to say, “Mine next please!”

Know the difference between your and you’re. I beg of you. For the good of us all. No one should have to see that.

If you think the saying is, “You’ve got another thing coming”, you’ve got another think coming. Oh yes you have. Oh yes you have.

Don’t say, “And then I turned around and said…” unless you really did turn around. Which you didn’t. No one ever does.

Only possibly admissible if you were having a difficult conversation in the car while navigating a round-about, and even then… thin ice.

Don’t say, “I’m not being funny, but” at the start of sentences. History has shown that anyone who has the urge to say this phrase definitely doesn’t need to, because they have never been funny in their lives.

Don’t say, “Do you know what I mean?” in between sentences.

History has shown that anyone who has the urge to say this phrase definitely doesn’t need to, because they have never expressed a complicated idea in their lives.

Know what nonplussed means. The dictionary definition is “so surprised and confused that one is unsure how to react”. And you are probably nonplussed now, hearing that – because you thought it meant not bothered.

 

Everyone uses it wrongly though, so the opposite meaning has now kind of become the meaning – we’re all wrong, so let’s just make wrong right seems a dangerous precedent to set, no?

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