More fewers and fewer lesses please: politics, education and pedantry

Dr Genevieve Yates

There were many aspects of the recent electoral campaign that disappointed me. I suspect many aspects disappointed you too. I’m not going to talk policies or ideologies in this post, but rather vent about a small, pedantic bee which buzzed around in my bonnet: language use. Not the nauseating rhetoric and three-word slogans, although these were mighty frustrating, but the demonstrations of politicians without a firm grasp on the English language.

The examples are too numerous and depressing to list, but Kevin Rudd using “bunch” as the collective noun for practically everything and Tony Abbott confusing suppository with repository are ones that stood out for me. The latter was great for a laugh… I had fun writing tweets like “It is well established that Tony Abbott is not the suppository (sic) of all wisdom but the big question is, will he be the enema of social justice?”

On-the-fly gaffs can…

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