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Whatever a petard is, they were hoist by it

[12 April 2012] Writing about other people’s bad English is fraught with danger, as the Daily Telegraph discovered on 5 April in its report about a woman who tried to avoid jail by faking a hospital letter. Her grammar was so bad, apparently, that the court realized the letter must be a fraud.

But the paper reported:

‘Louise Howard, 45, had been facing two charges of criminal damage and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis following an incident in Etruria, Staffs, and feared jail if she was convicted she may go to jail.’

Oh dear, and it was all going so well. [MC]

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