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Missing CDs: an ungrammatical appeal

Dec 7, 2007, 06:17 AM
Authors : Daniel
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Post date : Dec 7, 2007, 06:17 AM
Is the Metropolitan Police Service attempting to deputise members of HMRC staff?
The force has placed a notice on the Revenue's intranet, appealing for help in the ongoing attempt to retrieve those two pesky computer disks containing the confidential details of millions of child benefit claimants.
Employees are first reminded at some length of the circumstances of the security debacle; something one would think they'd be more than au fait with by now.
And then the notice entices would-be lawmen and women with a reward of 'up to £20,000' (from HMRC), before offering the number of a confidential, freephone 'reporting line': 0800 030 4613.
This is serious matter - and it's heartening that is being handled with such dedication and authority. If you have any helpful info, I urge you to come forward. HMRC staff have enough to worry about without this palaver going on for much longer.
However, the (pedantic) journalist in me couldn't help but read the police appeal while tutting like someone who's trying to gently push out his front teeth using his tongue. Crime-solving clearly does not demand expert use of the English language.
'Jiffy Bag' with lower case letters? It's a brand, not a generic product.
'Amongst'? Are the coppers looking for the disks in the 19th century?
'Police are appealing for your assistance to recover...'? Ouch! Ian Blair might as well have come to the Taxation offices and kicked me in the shins.

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