Vote Leave

Like most linguists today, I’m not a prescriptivist, so you won’t hear me moan about people using split infinitives, beginning a sentence with and, or ending it with a preposition. However, I can’t resist having a go at the Vote Leave campaign. Vote Leave? Yes, that’s what this eurosceptic pro-Brexit group calls itself. Like I say, I’m an easy-going tolerant linguist, but that name is, well, ungrammatical. It is perhaps just about possible to interpret the name as Vote ‘Leave’, i.e. vote by ticking the box ‘leave’, in the same way that you can say Vote No, but somehow for me Vote Leave doesn’t work.

EU Flag

One thought on “Vote Leave

  1. I agree that it’s ungrammatical, but somehow that helps it work. Every campaign, whether political or in advertising needs a good snappy slogan and this one is certainly snappy. I can’t think of a grammatical alternative that would have a similar effect. And it’s already being successful in the sense that the Eurosceptics (and I’m not one of them) have got us talking about it. This issue reminds me of the furore among sticklers caused by ‘Drinka pinta milka day’ which may have been non-standard but certainly did milk sales no harm!


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