Staff of the new Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees Mogg have sought clarification on whether the term ‘bellend’ should be hyphenated when used in official correspondence?
The question was raised after the MP for North East Somerset issued a style guide to colleagues instructing them to use imperial rather than metric measurements and banning the use of specific words and phrases.
‘Mr Rees Mogg has very clear rules on grammar and punctuation but his instructions do raise some further questions’ says civil servant Fenton Barnes.
‘For instance, when using the phrase ‘fuck off you pompous bellend’ should it be ‘bellend’ with no hyphen or ‘bell-end’ with a hyphen?’
‘And if one were to send a memo to one of Mr Rees Mogg’s cabinet colleagues and use the sentence ‘I’m looking forward to the day you’re back in opposition where you belong you tiresome right wing gobshite’ should one hyphenate the word ‘gobshite’? We wouldn’t to annoy the boss by getting that wrong’.
Critics have observed that strict adherence to the rules of grammar and punctuation does not necessarily improve the quality of writing and have cited Rees Mogg’s book ‘The Victorians’, which was widely panned, as an example.
However, Fenton Barnes does not accept accept criticism of the book.
‘I won’t hear a word against it’ says Barnes. ‘We bought a copy of the book from Oxfam and its proved very popular in the office’.
‘It’s the first time the conference room table has been level for years’.