The new leader of Britain’s House of Commons, known for his orate rhetoric and affinity for tradition, has issued a painstaking list of grammar and etiquette for his staff.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was appointed to his new role on Wednesday by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, demanded in his rules that his staff stop using words such as “hopefully”, “very,” “due to” and “equal.”
“CHECK your work,” the list said.
The list, published Friday by ITV News, advises staff they must use only imperial measurements, put a double space after periods and give all non-titled males the suffix Esq. in correspondence.
The European Union has issued several directives over the decades asking member states to use metric measurements, however, the U.K. has been a late adopter to the system.
Rees-Mogg’s office said the guidance was drawn up by the North East Somerset MP’s constituency team years ago and has now been shared with officials in his new office.
The Conservative Party lawmaker is nicknamed “the honorable member for the 18th century” because of his formal dress and conservative views.
Other directions to staff include avoiding the use of “invest (in schools, etc)”, or “note/understand your concerns.”
According to a separate report by ITV News, a search of one of Rees-Mogg’s Brexit speeches published by BrexitCentral, found that the lawmaker had used a number of his banned words, including “very”, “equal” and “lot.”
The list has since gone viral online. On Saturday, Rees-Mogg explained that the reason he issued the guidelines was that it would be “rude” to send constituents letters improperly addressed from his office.
“They asked how I like my letters done and I said: ‘Well I have got a list of how things are done in my office upstairs’,” he told the Telegraph. “I had it brought down from my House of Commons office. It’s just a thing listing banned words, which are sort of New Labour words like ‘unacceptable’.”
He added: “If you mean something’s wrong, say it’s wrong. And ‘impacted’ - unless it’s a wisdom tooth. A sort of style guide. And people must be correctly addressed. I always put esquire to a male constituent.”
“Letters to constituents must be addressed properly. It would be rude not to!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.