A retired English teacher from Atlanta had written a letter to President Donald Trump after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, beseeching him to visit each family that lost a loved-one in the shooting. Figuring nothing would come of her letter, she was shocked when she received a response with the President’s signature.
Upon opening the letter, Yvonne Mason realized it was error-filled (in her opinion) and decided to do some teacher-like editing before sending the letter back to the White House. Some of her commentary went as followed: “Have y’all tried grammar & style check?”, “Federal is capitalized only when used as part of a proper noun.”, and “OMG this is WRONG!”
Before placing it back in the mail, Ms. Mason decided to take a picture of the edited letter and post it to Facebook. She said she felt the need to edit the letter because “it was a poorly worded missive. Poor writing is not something I abide. If someone is capable of doing better, then they should do better.”
While never responding to her initial request, the White House’s letter alluded to positive changes in policy that the President had implemented. It said the administration had conducted listening sessions, met with lawmakers, and authorized the STOP School Violence Act. The bill would provide $500 million over 10 years for safety improvements at schools but had no provisions related to guns.
Although the Trump White House hasn’t responded to the edited letter, a writing style manual for the federal government calls for capitalizing “Nation” and “Federal” when the words are used as a synonym for the United States. It says “State” should be capitalized when it is referring to the government or legislature.