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Retired teacher gives letter signed by Trump a mediocre grade—for middle school students

'OMG this is wrong!'


Tess Cagle

Layer 8

Posted on May 28, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 2:51 pm CDT

The Trump Administration has the writing and grammar proficiency of a mediocre middle school student, according to one retired English teacher.

When Yvonne Mason wrote to President Donald Trump about the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, she received a letter in response signed by him. While she’s aware that a White House staffer probably wrote the  letter—the letter didn’t actually address anything she wrote but instead talked generally about gun violence—Mason told Greenville News that she’s disappointed to see such poor grammar come out of the White House.

“If it had been written in middle school, I’d give it a C or C-plus,” Mason said. “If it had been written in high school, I’d give it a D.”

She shared her corrections on Facebook. The post has over 3.5K reactions, 1.4K responses, and was shared over 1,600 times.


Mason identified 11 instances of faulty capitalization in Trump’s letter, as he capitalized terms such as “nation,” “federal,” “president” and “state,” and turned common nouns into proper nouns. (The Government Publishing Office Style Manual requires words such as “nation” and “president” to be capitalized in many instances in official government documents.)

Mason’s corrections also draw attention to redundant expressions and overuse of the pronoun “I” in Trump’s letter, as well as a dangling modifier.

“It’s stylistically appalling,” she said.

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*First Published: May 28, 2018, 10:00 am CDT