As Jacob Rees-Mogg takes his place in Boris Johnson’s new cabinet, it’s been revealed that he has a style guide and a list of banned words. They’re as backwards and weird as you’d expect. People had fun with it, but some of Rees-Mogg’s writerly demands are troubling.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esq., M.P.
ITV News revealed the list of style guidelines and a list of prohibited words. The Rees-Mogg house style mandates the following:
The guide starts off strong (The Canary also treats organisations as SINGULAR), but rapidly goes downhill. The thought of calling “all non-titled males” esquire has led to a lot of ridicule for the honourable fop:
Jacob Rees Mogg:
Remainers are the elite
Also Jacob Rees Mogg:
Please refer to non-landed males as Esquire, I want to know whether they're scum without having to meet them first https://t.co/EH8LcQrMEk
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) July 26, 2019
He is such a fucking bellend. Sorry, Mr. Fucking-Bellend, Esq. https://t.co/hST7m7l2FR
— Chris Hewitt (@ChrisHewitt) July 26, 2019
Although many Britons use imperial measurements for some things and metric for others, few people under retirement age are calling for the complete return of imperial:
What's an "imperial" measurement? Asking for someone from the 20th Century 🤣
— Keith Williams 🌈🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@KeithP_Williams) July 26, 2019
Instructing staff to use “imperial measurements” isn’t going to help the 14 million people living in poverty @Jacob_Rees_Mogg, it won’t help the millions using food banks & it won’t feed the kids going hungry this summer. You’re completely detached from reality https://t.co/eNRXazNK3R
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) July 26, 2019
Britain adopted the metric system in 1965. Rees-Mogg – despite acting like a Victorian – was born in 1969. By the time he entered the school system, nearly a decade had passed since we began using metric measurements. As such, it’s no wonder people are accusing Rees-Mogg of being a massive try-hard:
When I once asked seriously posh pal how his lot see the Moggster he said “faux aristocratic, gets his ideas from reading PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh.” That’s a bit unfair to PGW who ( unlike Waugh or Mogg) was taking the piss https://t.co/ahFAlnWbyH
— MichaelWhite (@michaelwhite) July 27, 2019
Double spaces after full stops is typographic ignorance. It’s a hang-over from monospaced typewriters. All graphic artists will tell you that one space after a full stop is correct with all and every proportionally spaced font. https://t.co/O4FXpUPqAp
— #LeaveLies 🔶 Kim Spence-Jones #FBPE (@KimSJ) July 26, 2019
Of all the pompous and idiotic instructions, it's the double space after a full stop that pisses me off the most. It's a pointless affectation used by idiots. But then maybe Rees-Mog is a pointless affectation personified. https://t.co/FJpk3A62JW
— Camilla Mount (@Milly_Mount) July 26, 2019
Others pointed out that his stance is an odd one from a man who once said, “I just believe government money should be spent well”:
Dear @Jacob_Rees_Mogg, Esq, please quantify the amount of wasted civil service time it will take your staff to convert everything into imperial units.
I thought the government was supposed to be increasing efficiency, not wasting my money? https://t.co/D8Md1WlQUR
— Interrogator (@Eddystone506) July 27, 2019
Perhaps more troubling are the words that the alleged free speech advocate has banned:
Is Rees-Mogg hearing phrases like ‘disappointment’, ‘unacceptable’, and ‘no longer fit for purpose’ so often that he never wants to hear them again?
People had some things to say:
While the media are laughing at how quaint Jacob Rees-Mogg's new rules are, let's think for a moment. The first thing he does in his new job is tell people what words they can or can't use, including the words 'equal' and 'invest'. pic.twitter.com/LQMVUgoDkr
— Paula Hammond (@writer_paula) July 27, 2019
Not surprised to find @Jacob_Rees_Mogg has proscribed ‘equal’, ‘invest’ and ‘speculate’ but the good news for writers is that ‘unctuous’, ‘greedy’, ‘hypocritical’, ‘oleaginous’ and ‘bastard’ are still available for use. #JacobReesMoggGuide #ToriesOut
— article six (@SixVpf) July 27, 2019
Homelessness has more than doubled since the Tories came into power, they’ve overseen a boom in food banks and child poverty, and Rees-Mogg is preoccupied by banning phrases in emails. They just don’t care. pic.twitter.com/bClCKsR0Yq
— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) July 26, 2019
Conserving the past
Not everyone is critical, however. Twitter user Lee Morgan suggested that it’s our “lack of standards” which led us to where we are today:
It is a little more complex than the simple example of the @HackneyAbbott school of economics you illustrated
As for double spaces, you are being critical because of an implementation of standards?
It is the lack of standards that is the cause of much of today’s society issues
— Lee Morgan 🗳 (@LMY746) July 27, 2019
It’s not clear how the double space will solve climate change, reverse austerity, or end inequality. But, then again, it isn’t for us common folk to understand the thinking of our ‘very’ honourable esquires like Rees-Mogg. They make the weird rules; we just follow them.
Welcome to Boris Johnson’s 21st-century cabinet.
A cabinet in which some words aren’t free, and others might cost you a shilling in the ‘disappointment’ jar.
Featured image via LadyGeekTV – Wikimedia
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