Therese Coffey, who hates Oxford commas, uses… Oxford comma

So much for hating Oxford commas, Therese! Eagle-eyed Twitter users mock Health Secretary Coffey over ’embarrassing’ mistake in NHS bailout

  • Last week, Dr. Coffey ordered officials to stop using the Oxford comma.
  • Eagle-eyed Twitter users called his mistake “wildly embarrassing.”
  • A GP asked if it was ‘grammatical inconsistency or high-level trolling’

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Last week he ordered officials to stop using the Oxford comma.

However, Therese Coffey has now been caught using the allegedly forbidden grammar.

Eagle-eyed Twitter users, who saw the newly appointed Health Secretary’s own goal, called it “hugely embarrassing”.

A GP questioned whether it was “grammatical inconsistency or high-level trolling”.

Dr Coffey’s blunder was made in a ministerial foreword to her NHS rescue plan, in which she promised not to “wallpaper” the “enormous challenges” facing the health service.

Therese Coffey, pictured yesterday, was criticized by the Royal College of GPs for her plans to push for patient access without addressing staffing.

Dr. Coffey’s ban on the Oxford comma surfaced last week. His office emailed Department of Health and Social Care staff a list of instructions detailing the karaoke-loving MP’s “job preferences”.

Dr Coffey’s mistake was made in a ministerial foreword to her NHS rescue plan, in which she promised not to “wallpaper” the “enormous challenges” facing the health service.

Their statement said: “Our plan will sit alongside the NHS Long Term Plan, the next workforce plan and our plans to reform adult social care.”

Billy Palmer, a policy commentator at the Nuffield Trust think tank, highlighted Dr. Coffey’s use of the comma.

He wrote: ‘It would be grossly embarrassing if there were an Oxford comma in the Secretary of State’s ministerial foreword.

But of course that would not happen. TRUE?’

Dr David Coleman, a GP in Doncaster, said: “Kudos to Therese Coffey for dropping an Oxford comma in her foreword to ‘Our Plan for Patients.’

‘Grammatical inconsistency or high-level trolling?’

Billy Palmer, a policy commentator at the Nuffield Trust think tank, highlighted Dr. Coffey's use of the comma.  He wrote: 'It would be grossly embarrassing if there were an Oxford comma in the Secretary of State's ministerial foreword.  But of course that would not happen.  TRUE?'

Billy Palmer, a policy commentator at the Nuffield Trust think tank, highlighted Dr. Coffey's use of the comma.  He wrote: 'It would be grossly embarrassing if there were an Oxford comma in the Secretary of State's ministerial foreword.  But of course that would not happen.  TRUE?'

Billy Palmer, a policy commentator at the Nuffield Trust think tank, highlighted Dr. Coffey’s use of the comma. He wrote: ‘It would be grossly embarrassing if there were an Oxford comma in the Secretary of State’s ministerial foreword. But of course that would not happen. TRUE?’

Dr David Coleman, a GP in Doncaster, said: “Kudos to Therese Coffey for dropping an Oxford comma in her foreword to ‘Our Plan for Patients’. ‘Grammatical inconsistency or high-level trolling?’

What IS an Oxford comma?

An Oxford comma is used after the penultimate item in a list, before the words ‘and’ or ‘or’.

Its name derives from its use being traditionally required by Oxford University Press.

But in UK English, it is generally considered unnecessary, except when the lists involve pairs, such as ‘red and white, and green and blue’.

The use of Oxford commas is a divisive issue in the US, the Chicago Manual of Style is in favor of the Oxford comma while the Associated Press Style Book is against it.

Dr. Coffey’s ban on the Oxford comma surfaced last week. His office emailed Department of Health and Social Care staff a list of instructions detailing the karaoke-loving MP’s “job preferences”.

It also included a ban on the use of technical jargon and urged workers to ‘be positive’.

Recipients of the email called it “extremely condescending.”

It was sent amid the looming threat of job cuts, with the government keen to cut red tape and save taxpayers millions of cash.

An Oxford comma is used after the penultimate item in a list, before the words ‘and’ or ‘or’.

Its name derives from its use being traditionally required by Oxford University Press.

But in UK English, it is generally considered unnecessary, except when the lists involve pairs, such as ‘red and white, and green and blue’.

The use of Oxford commas is a divisive issue in the US, the Chicago Manual of Style is in favor of the Oxford comma while the Associated Press Style Book is against it.

Jacob Rees-Mogg sent a style guide similar to that of Dr Coffey when he was appointed Leader of the House of Commons in the Boris Johnson government.

Staff were urged not to use the Oxford comma in guidance sent out in 2019.

Meanwhile, the banned words and phrases included: very, because of, unacceptable, same, yourself, much, got, speculate, know, find out, and disappointment.

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