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The future looks perfect with Matthew in charge
YOUR expensive new brochure looks fabulous.
DEDICATED: Matthew Male, of Future Perfect
Great design, not a single spelling mistake - it's a shame about the grammar though.
Companies will happily proof their publications over and over again to banish typos - but then ignore the most basic grammatical errors.
Grammar guru Matthew Male has seen it all over the last 13 years: abuse of the subjunctive, misuse of reflexive pronouns, dangling modifiers, you name it - all tarnishing hard-won image.
Poole-based Matthew is the man to whom large companies turn to ensure that their brand literature is grammatically pristine.
He believes that his company - Future Perfect - is the only one in Britain currently performing this highly specialised role.
"This is my passion. I chose this - I created this role," said Matthew.
"On average, I find one mistake in every seven words.
"It doesn't have to be a typo.
"It could be double-spacing after a full stop.
"That went out in the 60s."
Matthew is challenging a boardroom taboo.
No senior managers - or anyone else for that matter - like being told that they cannot write their mother tongue correctly.
At best they are defensive; at worst they go into ostrich mode until, finally, some enlightened individual realises that a little humility is better than lots of lost sales.
"My work stops people from looking silly.
"My job is to prevent eyebrows from being raised by those who have a bee in their bonnet about one particular rule."
Matthew has memorised tomes of rules.
He has studied eight languages - including French, German, Italian and Welsh - along with mathematics at degree level.
"Grammar is only maths.
"If you are good at the building blocks of formulae, a sentence is no different.
"You are using letters instead of numbers.
"They must all weigh up."
Matthew founded Future Perfect after eschewing the linguist's traditional career paths of translator, lecturer or teacher.
Working as a secretary at Burmah Castrol in 1993 was the final straw.
One of Burmah Castrol's most senior executives had made some basic grammatical errors in a piece of dictation.
Matthew instinctively "helped to polish" them.
The executive overruled him and demanded that the original erroneous text be reinstated.
Matthew refused and left as a matter of principle.
Those to have benefited from his help so far include Alliance & Leicester, Allied Dunbar, Ernst & Young, JD Wetherspoon, Little Chef, Mothercare, Pret A Manger, Sage, WHSmith and Xerox.