By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – In a shocking statement, the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board says it will not replace disgraced former Library Board chairperson Al Maghnieh. Maghnieh, a double dip member of council, held both a council seat and served as the communications guru at the local school board before stepping down.
Some think Maghnieh holding a communications position was a bit odd given it seems he is not as familiar as he should be with communications techniques such as grammar. A poster to the Windsor outlet of the website of the local outpost of Canadian Broadcasting Corportion (CBC), lilac47, is believed to be first in the city to publicly notice Maghnieh’s errant ways with the Queen’s English.
According to the Urban Dictionary, the term “Queen’s English refers to grammatically correct and coherent written expression in the English language.”
This is not to say that the Queen, a member of the Windsor family no less, would necessarily be concerned. It could be that she has been, like many Britons, following the Maghnieh scandal, and why wouldn’t she? She might be checking in every once in a while on the latest news in between all the developing story lines on Coronation Street where recently, a few months ago, her subjects were abuzz at the arrival on the Street of famed US actor Robert Vaughn.
He once played a starring role on the hit US television program Man from U.N.C.L.E. and may have been one of the people Maghnieh himself was thinking of consulting to rid the city of the Windsor hum. There was a rumour that he, Maghnieh, was thinking of calling in Mulder and Scully from the X-Files television program and movie, although that was never proven in court.
Anyway, lilac posted this about Maghnieh’s step-down letter, “’I appreciate the boards confidence in me…”? should be ‘board’s’ with an apostrophe. Gee al, can’t even get your grammar correct these days? LOL.”
Indeed Maghnieh showed himself to be a little wet behind the ears with his approach to grammar. He also appeared to not know that the Board, grammatically speaking, is a single entity and when a pronoun is used, to avoid the monotony of repeating the Board’s name, a singular pronoun is not only required, but demanded, by the Queen, it is assumed, no less.
When it is done right there is no doubt in some people’s minds that she smiles and probably says “Philip and I are so pleased,” as she often does about things that please her and her royal husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Maghnieh, in his resignation letter claimed that he was “very sorry for the negative attention I may have brought upon the school board and I hope they can continue to move forward.”
That should have produced a grammatical situation in which a member of the grammar police would have visited Maghnieh’s and told him that he was needed “to step back from the keyboard. They is not a they, “they,” the board, that is, is an “it.”
Possibly Maghnieh could have benefitted from calling his most recent previous employer, now his second most recent, an international accounting firm that he has yet to identify and have had them audit his statement and provide counsel to the communications expert on proper English. He could have, but most likely didn’t.
What is most telling in all of this is that Maghnieh’s position at the board is apparently totally expendable.
According to the CBC, board chair Barb Holland revealed that her board has no plans at all to “replace Maghnieh.” As odd as this sounds, especially since Holland admitted to thinking that Maghnieh had done a good job for the Board, “we were extremely pleased with what he did.”
Apparently it was not good enough to find someone else to take over the reigns from Maghnieh. Even a lesser comment, a “so pleased” from the Queen is something that can be taken to the bank.
This really begs the question that some are now asking. Was there really a job at the Board in the first place? Was Maghnieh, who has long and deep ties to the Liberal Party of Ontario after working as an operative for the current minister of finance, Dwight Duncan, simply parked over at the Board while he waited before either jumping into provincial politics or into the mayor’s office in Windsor.
Would it not be good news for the minister to have a former operative in the mayor’s chair?
Something doesn’t seem right. A communications leader who knows little about communications in a communications role who seems to be writing things below grade, punching below his weight most likely, when it comes to honouring the Queen by sticking to her grammatical rules.
And then once he resigns, the position disappears. Is that because the minister has no one else to park locally? Hey, it is just an honest question.
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