Sunday 18 March 2018

Millstones and milestones

The Punt is not a stickler for grammar and spelling. All that tedious laughing at other people's errors always strikes the Punt as rather vulgar; none of us is perfect and who has not split an infinitive from time to time without causing the sky to fall in? Let he who has not sinned and all that.

Still, we could not resist a smirk when reading David Duffy's resignation letter to Michael Noonan.

The AIB chief executive lists several achievements such as "approval for our restructuring plan from the European Commission, and passing the ECB comprehensive stress tests" but then goes on to ruin the self congratulation by referring to them as "milstones".

The Punt assumes Duffy meant milestones.

Certainly, it would be difficult to describe either as a millstone although the long wait for the results from both tests must have often seemed wearisome.

The Punt can only assume that Noonan's reply was written by a civil servant; it certainly contains none of his trademark wit or grace.

It begins with a civil service "acknowledgement" of the letter "which deals with your recent resignation" and goes on to thank Duffy for his praise of Department of Finance officials.

The response to Duffy's offer to help out from time to time can only be described as cool.

"I also appreciate the kind offer of your future support and I will certainly keep this in mind."

The Punt has received many a brush off over the years from Noonan and others but rarely one so silky and non-committal.

Irish Independent

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