When Yvonne Mason, a retired English teacher, received a letter from the White House earlier this month, she was appalled. The letter, which was signed by President Donald Trump, was filled with “many silly mistakes” she recognized from her 17 years as a high school English teacher in South Carolina. So she took out her trusty purple pen and started making corrections to the letter. “Have ya’ll tried grammar and style check?” Mason wrote at the top of the letter. “OMG this is WRONG!” she wrote in one part near the bottom of the letter. She posted a photo of the letter filled with her corrections to Facebook, saying she would send it back to the White House.
“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, a self-described Democrat who lives in Atlanta, had written to the president asking him to visit family members of those who died in the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “I had written to them in anger, to tell you the truth,” she told the New York Times. “I thought he owed it to these grieving families.” Mason said the letter she received from the White House didn’t quite address her concerns.
She says there were lots of other mistakes in the letter she didn’t correct. “I did not mention the dangling modifier,” she said. “I focused mainly on mechanics.” Even though the letter was signed by Trump, Mason knows full well that the president wasn’t the one who wrote it. Still, one of the things she noticed seems like a very Trump characteristic: too many I’s. She highlighted the pronoun five time in the letter.
Mason said the letter stood out from others she had received from government officials. “If it had been written in middle school, I’d give it a C or C-plus,” she said. “If it had been written in high school, I’d give it a D.”