The BIGGEST mistake of President Barack Obama

Regular readers of this blog with know both that I’m a huge admirer of Barack Obama and that I’m currently reading the first volume of his political memoirs “A Promised Land”.

I’m enjoying the 700-page book enormously – I have read his two previous works – not least because he is a fine writer. BUT there is one grammatical mistake which he makes regularly: he uses a capital letter immediately after a colon.

The first of many examples of this is in the Preface when he talks of the contest between two opposing visions of America: “At the heart of this long-running battle is a simple question: Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals?”

I don’t know whether this mistake (as I see it) is an American thing or an Obama affectation. But it is so wrong.

One Comment

  • Ronnie Landau

    This is not a mistake. It is now the accepted convention in virtually all American publications, including academic journals. I don’t like it, but there it is. I’m ashamed to say I sometimes eschew the post-colon lower case when communicating with my American friends, in case they think I don’t understand the rules of punctuation! But I would never compromise on cisAtlantic English spelling. (I just made up the word cisAtlantic!)


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