A retired American secondary school English teacher has corrected a letter she received from US President Donald Trump and sent it back to the White House so that he can learn from mistakes.
The letter, dated May 3 and printed on White House stationery, was addressed to Yvonne Mason, 61, a former English teacher from Atlanta who retired last year but was still in grading mode.
Mason said the letter was full of redundancies, faulty capitalisation and had a lack of clarity and specificity.
According to the Mail online, Yvonne Mason had written to Trump in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida and asked him to meet with the families of the victims so they could question him about school safety.
“When you get letters from the highest level of government, you expect them to be at least mechanically correct,” Mason told the Greenville News.
Mason posted a photo of the letter, bearing President Trump’s signature, on which she has made her own corrections.
‘Have y’all tried grammar style check?’ she wrote across the top of the note.
The ‘corrected’ version of the letter from the White House. Facebook/Yvonne Mason She picked up grammatical errors such as ‘nation’ and ‘states’ being incorrectly capitalised.
The former teacher circled both and gave brief explanations why the usage was incorrect. Another sentence, talking about how Trump had introduced a ‘rule’ banning devices into machine guns was branded unclear.
Explain ‘rule’, she wrote.
“Poor writing is not something I abide,” said Mason. “If someone is capable of doing better, then they should do better.”
“If it had been written in middle school, I would give it a C or C-plus. If it had been written in high school, I would give it a D,” she told South Carolina’s Greenville News.
“If my students turned that in they would get exactly the same marks,’ she told the New York Times.
Mason also says that the letter failed to address her concerns, but merely listed actions that had taken place after the shooting, such as listening sessions and the STOP School Violence Act.
When she received the letter in the mail, she pulled out her go-to purple pen and started making corrections. Then she snapped a picture, posted it on Facebook and mailed it back to the White House, reports the New York Times.
The photo of the letter has attracted hundreds of shares and likes since it was posted on Facebook last week.
The response has been divided, with some criticising the teacher for mocking the president, and others praising her for tackling the poor grammar.
Mason said she often corresponded with politicians, but that Trump’s response had stood out.
Mason told The Greenville News that US Senator Lindsey Graham, or his staff, write exquisite letters.
“I give him credit for that. They are far more on-topic. I understand the nature of form letters, but Graham’s are written as if they’re addressing your particular concern.”