Educated, liberal Russians have long complained that their country is run by hooligans and rubes unschooled in anything but nose-breaking and corporate raiding. And now they have proof.
In November, 34 Kremlin bureaucrats will undergo 40 hours of rigorous grammatical training in a course called “The Culture of Official Written Speech and the Language of Jurisprudence.”
But, according to the description, it seems like a far more basic course in the elaborate tortures of Russian grammar: capitalization, punctuation, correct use of the negative “ne” and “ni,” as well as proper nouns like names of geographic locations and political parties. The course will also include lectures in redundant speech, tautologies, and “false laconism,” and will culminate in a four-hour exam.
It is as yet unclear which bureaucrats will be sent back to school, but it clearly comes just in time: The very announcement capitalized “Presidential Administration,” which, in proper Russian, should remain lower case.