Embargoed until: 01.04.2017

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In a speech to the Poisson d’Avril media conference in Paris, Lexi Concepción, the newly-appointed HMG Junior Minister with responsibility for clear communication, will announce that the Department of Brexit is keen to negotiate a phased removal of all European ‘dots and dashes’ from properly authorised English dictionaries.

Ms. Concepción will state that “Proper standards must be improved and historic errors corrected. It is not right that children in our schools should be told that it is acceptable to use foreign accents. This government recognises that some elements in our common native usage are utterly unacceptable to right-thinking people and, furthermore, that our present situation is both acute and grave.”

Civil servants and academics have been charged with the responsibility of identifying and erasing every circumflex, cedilla, umlaut, grave and acute, and so forth, with reasonable [sic] immediate effect. An experienced lexicographer will be appointed shortly to take overall charge of the purification process known as ‘dictionary cleansing’. Government statisticians have estimated an ecological benefit in both ink and bandwidth savings.

“Patriotic English speakers have already rooted out the circumflex in rôle, the cedilla in façade and à propos of which, the grave of apropos. The next step is to eradicate the acute from a glacé cherry. Only hopelessly naïve and clichéd liberals could possibly argue against this policy of linguistic prudence.”

The minister’s speech will conclude with a rallying call: “We all know that things are dire. Critical action must be taken if we are to protect the sovereign state of our glorious English vocabulary from these insidious enemies in our midst.”

Biographical Note:

Lexi Concepción, MP for Coxcomb-under-Hoyden, is engaged to marry. She and her fiancé have agreed that before too long she will be properly Anglicised and known thereafter to be Lexi Cally-Peerless.