It’s difficult to like Michael Gove, but we’d miss him if he wasn’t there. And he does have a certain way with words. His latest contribution has been to issue a set of verbal style guidelines for civil servants in his Ministry of Justice. It’s contradictory and reactionary and arrogant of course – like the instruction not to use ‘impact’ as a verb’ despite the fact it has been used this way for centuries. It gave journalists the opportunity to talk about verbal pedantry, which is always nice. And it generated my favourite quote of the day, from an expert in something or other from somewhere forgettable:
“We have been verbing nouns and nouning verbs for centuries”, happied this wise individual. I couldn’t have Goved it better myself.