Correct in a manner of speaking

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From: Gordon Lawrence, Stumperlowe View, Sheffield.

It is refreshing to know that some individuals are attempting to constrain the relentless erosion of the English language; I refer to the letters from Mr Hyde (Yorkshire Post, May 16) and Trevor Boag (Yorkshire Post, May 19).

Whereas, quite rightly, in my opinion, Mr Hyde attacks the quality of written expression in our current Arts graduates, Mr Boag attempts to correct Mr Hyde’s own mastery of the language by asserting that “owing to” should replace “due to” in the quoted sentence: “their mistakes may be due to the use of text messaging.”

Now I am quite aware that the English language has developed and is developing organically and that common usage often supplants older and more rigid rules but, since Mr Boag has adopted the role of the philological purist, I must come to the defence of Mr Hyde; it is not only legitimate to use the term “due to” as an adjectival function and regularly following the verb “to be” as in the quoted letter, it is, strictly speaking, its exclusive function.

“Owing to” is a more versatile expression and, in popular usage, can now replace the tighter function of the other term but its orthodox job was that of a preposition often starting sentences.

Kiss and pay at airport

From: Pat Collinson, Belmont Rise, Baildon, Shipley

SHAME on Leeds Bradford International airport for introducing a breathtaking minimum parking charge of £2 even if you are only dropping off or picking up passengers and are in the car park for less than 10 minutes.

Like Carole O’Hare (Yorkshire Post, May 24), my husband dropped me off on May 19. The usual top car park was closed off and we were directed to the lower car park. No reasons for the closure were visible but the 10 minute free drop-off was in force.

On Monday, May 23, he returned to pick me up totally unaware of the new charging system. He did not see any indication that things had changed so entered the car park only to find out he had to pay on exiting.

For those of us who simply want to “kiss and fly”, this feels more like a smack in the face! They should bring back the 10-minute free drop-off facility with immediate effect.

I urge all customers to lobby the relevant authorities at LBA to change this decision.

Change law on litter louts

From: Jo Moran, Parkland View, Yeadon, Leeds.

IT seems the battle to keep our roadsides clear of litter is never-ending. This situation is not helped by the current legal loophole that lets litter louts get away with it scot-free.

Currently our local council can’t take effective action against people who throw litter out of their cars because the existing law requires the council to prove the identity of the individual who threw the litter.

I support the work being done by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Local Government Association and Keep Britain Tidy to amend the existing law, so that whoever owns the vehicle is responsible for what is thrown out of it. It is similar to the way laws on speeding, wearing seat-belts and fly-tipping work.

I’m sure there are hundreds of councils, citizens and motorists who are sick of roadside litter. Clearing up this litter is expensive and dangerous and this simple change to the law would provide our council with an effective deterrent against the careless and thoughtless behaviour of litterers.

Work schemes for jobless

From: Kendal Wilson, Wharfebank Terrace, Tadcaster.

WITH reference to the policy statement on the need for those who are unemployed to spend at least 35 hours per week seeking employment (Yorkshire Post, May 20), this beggars belief.

Why this highly-educated Government cannot see fit to reintroduce the community programmes which ran in the 1980s is deplorable. For 27 hours per week, plus slightly more pay than the Jobseekers Allowance, people received training, a sense of purpose, a chance to repair run-down public buildings in the community and to be seen to be doing something without stigma.

A sense of camaraderie also developed, often leading to solid employment or indeed some valuable knowledge to set up one’s own business.

If these schemes run again it would serve such a useful purpose, but a word of caution to these new proposals. There will have to be a root and branch overhaul of the pay inequities that exist in our country. Who indeed is worth their beans, and it takes more than any old job to pay bills, have mortgages and plan lives.

Take the inflation out of society and let’s have some more reasonable prices in the whole economy.

Maybe India had the right idea with their brand new car for £2,000. Now there’s a start.

MPs’ shame

From: Roy Bedford, Manor Rise, Walton, Wakefield.

Over the last few months we have seen a steady stream of “honest” politicians sentenced to terms in prison each protesting his innocence – they have been made scapegoats in an expenses culture that is immoral and widespread.

How much longer must this charade go on before someone reveals the truth? I fear that, in the halls of Westminster, there are many more skeletons in the cupboard.

Until we know the truth, have we the moral right to stand in judgment of those who have been found out?

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