Bad grammar in a unionist leader could be seen by political rivals as weakness
A letter from George McNally:
Does grammar proclaim the man or woman?
Edwin Poots the new leader of the DUP, is prone to grammatical solecisms.
Recent examples are:
1. In replying to Tara Mills (BBC Evening Extra, May 18) on events leading to the ousting of Arlene Foster he said: “Speculate who done what.”
• See below Ben Lowry on bad grammar
2. On the RTÉ News (9 pm) during an interview about the Northern Ireland Protocol he remarked: “Things have went too far.”
3. On the Nolan Show (May 19) in a past clip about relationships with Sinn Fein he shouted: “I hold my nose about what has went on in the past.”
4. On Nolan Show (May 20) he said: “I don’t believe that [the report] has went into the detail in an appropriate way ...” and “... the people [at] that funeral were wrong in what they done ...”
5. Later in a chat about Arlene Foster’s departure he comments: “Every political leader who has went.”
My concern is that with tough negotiations coming about the future of Northern Ireland a unionist leader’s solecisms will be detected as a sign of weakness by political opponents skilled in concealing true motivations and aims.
Grammatical conventions (note that I don’t use the word ‘rules’) change with time and daily conversations are less rigorous than the written word.
George McNally, Londonderry
• Ben Lowry in 2012: The epidemic of bad grammar in Northern Ireland politics
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.