Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Foot in Mouth: Plain English award

This award, which the Plain English Campaign first gave in 1993, is for a baffling comment by a public figure. The 2007 winner of this award is the former England football manager, Steve McClaren, for the following comment he made to Radio 5 Live.

“He (Wayne Rooney) is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through.”

Previous winners:
Naomi Campbell for "I love England, especially the food. There's nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta."

Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, the First Minister for Wales, made this comment in a debate on policing: "The only thing which isn't up for grabs is no change and I think it's fair to say, it's all to play for, except for no change."

Boris Johnson MP for his remark on the BBC news quiz programme, 'Have I Got News For You'. "I could not fail to disagree with you less."

Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for comments in a press briefing. "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."

Actor Richard Gere who said: "I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I'd think 'No, actually I am a giraffe.''

Artist Tracey Emin, who explained "When it comes to words I have a uniqueness that I find almost impossible in terms of art - and it's my words that actually make my art quite unique."

Hollywood star Alicia Silverstone for her comments quoted in the Sunday Telegraph.
"I think that [the film] 'Clueless' was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle. When asked by Trevor McDonald to explain his controversial comments on people with disabilities, he said:
"I do not believe that. At this moment in time, if that changes in years to come I don't know, but what happens here today and changes as we go along that is part of life's learning and part of your inner beliefs. But at this moment in time I did not say them things and at the end of the day I want to put that on record because it has hurt people."

Cardiff MP Rhodri Morgan. In an interview with BBC Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman he was asked if he would like to be the labour leader of the new Welsh Assembly. Rhodri replied "Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?" After a long puzzled pause Jeremy asked Rhodri if that was Welsh for yes!

Nick Underwood of Teletubbies Marketing explained that "in life, there are all colours and the Teletubbies are a reflection of that. There are no nationalities in the Teletubbies - they are techno-babies, but they are supposed to reflect life in that sense."

No winner.

Dr Gordon Brown MP for his 'New Economics' speech. He covered "ideas which stress the growing importance of international co-operation and new theories of economic sovereignty across a wide range of areas, macro-economics, trade, the environment, the growth of post neo-classical endogenous growth theory and the symbiotic relationships between government and investment in people and infrastructures - a new understanding of how labour markets really work and constructive debate over the meaning and implications of competitiveness at the level of individuals, the firm or the nation and the role of government in fashioning modern industrial policies which focus on nurturing competitiveness."

Former England cricket boss, Ted Dexter desperately tried to explain away another England defeat at the hands of the Australians by saying "Maybe we are in the wrong sign. Maybe Venus is in the wrong juxtaposition with something else. I don't know."

(Although there was no Foot in Mouth award in 1991, they made a special mention of a quote by United States Vice President Dan Quayle.)

"We offer the party as a big tent. How we do that (recognise the big tent philosophy) with the platform, the preamble to the platform or whatnot, that remains to be seen. But that message will have to be articulated with great clarity."

No comments: