It’s official; it’s a thin news day. When there’s not much happening in the world, that’s when journalists come out to play, and write what they really want to write.
Thank God for that. As the world gets a little crazier every week, it’s nice to get a bit of respite and read the Guardian having a rant about Michael Gove. Considering the readership of the Guardian includes a good proportion of socialists and teachers, that’s a pretty reliable punt for entertainment.
What’s he done this time? Prepare yourselves. Yes, he has taken it upon himself to improvise a mini style guide for his department.
The naughty man.
So the Guardian of course is ripping into him for requesting that staff don’t use ‘However’ at the beginning of a sentence, or ‘doesn’t’ when they should be writing ‘does not’. Or being unnecessarily pompous. I can only assume that the Guardian is publishing such stuff to get back at a minister, or a government, which it hates. After all, the story has nothing in it – except hypocrisy. The Guardian itself has a style guide – as does every newspaper, and every reputable company or organisation that has extensive dealings with thepublic – such as Yahoo, Apple and MailChimp. In fact I have the Guardian style guide on my book shelf – and let me tell you it’s a comprehensive 362 pages. The NHS has a style guide of sorts also – particular colours and pictures can be used in presentations and print communications etc.
Michael Gove just wants a consistent style of communication from his department. What’s entertaining is that the Guardian can take normal professional practice and try to turn it into something ridiculous. Nothing ridiculous about the Guardian’s style guide, however, that’s serious stuff.