Oh Dear


Today the SNP General Election leaflet came through my door.

It too contained “the Government have” when a single entity not the series of individuals it consists of was the actual subject of the verb and so “the Government has” ought to have been used. (I nearly said ‘making it up’ there instead of ‘it consists of’ – but this Government makes things up all the time.) I fear that, like the Apostrophe Society’s throwing in of the towel, “the Government” treated as a single entity has succumbed to “ignorance and laziness”.

More to the point, in the SNP leaflet we had a comment on the mandate it stated the SNP had to hold a referendum on Independence. It read, “It would be unacceptable for anyone to attempt to instruct that.”

I can only parse that by interpreting it in the sense that, “to obstruct that,” is meant.

“Instruct” for “obstruct” isn’t a close enough resemblance to be a malapropism. It’s just a bizarre substitution.

There were no actual spelling mistakes though.

PS. Re my previous election leaflet post: I have come on reflection to the opinion that “unpresidented” for “unprecedented” isn’t a malapropism. It’s more like a homophone.

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