- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2017

It seems missing quotation marks on the new £5 note being introduced in the United Kingdom has caused some Britons to complain about Her Majesty’s Government not upholding the high standards of the Queen’s English, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

In its original concept art, the Bank of England previewed the new currency featuring Sir Winston Churchill with one of his famous lines from the darkest hours of World War II — “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” — appearing under his portrait.

But the final version entering circulation, the Telegraph notes, lacks both a period at the end of the sentence and quotation marks, two strikes against the new fiver in the eyes of the National Literacy Trust, the London newspaper explained.

“We are living in a post-punctuation world created by big institutions. Some people may dismiss omissions as pedantry, but they have lost sight of the fact that precision of expression reflects precision of thought,” complained the University of Buckingham’s Alan Smithers, the Telegraph reported.

An English lecturer at the University of Oxford, Tara Stubbs, agreed the omission was “condescending” and lamented a third but perhaps more controversial transgression.

“It also doesn’t have the Oxford comma after ‘tears.’ To take that stuff out is condescending and I find efforts to dumb down like this just irritating,” she said.

Of course, other experts consulted by the Telegraph disagreed, finding the whole row to be a tempest in a teapot. One even suggested Sir Winston himself, no grammatical slouch he, wouldn’t even notice.

Regardless of what side of the coin Britons fall on with, the new note is here to stay. The old fiver it replaces will be worthless come Friday, May 5, declared to no longer be legal tender.

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