It's almost Christmas time, but don't be fooled that it is the time for goodwill to all men (or gurus, for that matter). Never forget, goodwill would mean nothing without a Scrooge to spread some disharmony and highlight just how nice the aforementioned goodwill is.
You will be shocked to hear that despite the sacrifices Guru has made for the Greater Good, he too remains unappreciated in some corners, as this letter shows:
You write "No one is better qualified than the HR profession to comment on the amount of cretins that are in full employment".
That's 'number' of cretins. Presum-ably you were taught English in the 1960s when grammar was unfashionable and the distinction between singular and mass nouns was thought to be irrelevant.
For your education and future reference, mass nouns use 'amount' and 'less'; singular use 'number' and 'fewer'.
You can accuse me of being a pedant, and that it doesn't matter, but the removal of the distinction would make the language more impoverished, and as someone who earns at least part of their daily corn by writing, you ought to care about it.
Yours, Mark Ashcroft.
Ouch. In response, however, it should be noted that Mr Ashcroft failed to put a colon after 'you write' in his first sentence. Hah!
While Guru blithely brushes off such criticism, it did make him wonder just how many other subversive agitators there are lurking out there. But rather than crush them all with a stroke of his pithy pen, he wishes to conduct a ground-breaking experiment.
Are there any other people out there who dislike/detest/despise Yours Truly? Mousemats for everyone with a valid complaint. As for everyone else, remember to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
UK well behind in scandal rankings
Continuing this seasonal ill-will, you'll be shocked and saddened to hear that Canadian authorities have missed a trick to plug a skills gap after they shut down a scheme to put an end to a domestic crisis - a shortage of exotic dancers.
In a scandal that shows just how uninteresting we are compared with other nations (this rather puts the Blunkett thing in the shade), immigration officials have stopped fast-tracking residency permits for strippers.
In 1998, the Canadian Govern-ment, in its wisdom, set up a system that allowed more than 2,000 dancers into the country to warm up its chilly residents with their antics.