Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It wouldn’t be a trip to England if I didn’t have a moan about English...

“The ball probably hits the bar; it comes down to Nugent who taps it in!”

So … erm … goal, GOAL, GOAL!!!

Well, no actually … this is just a brain-dead ITV football commentator who has never learned that it can be quite handy to use conditionals when you speak English if the things you want to talk about didn’t actually happen. The only concession to the conditional tenses is the adverb “probably”. That is a bit of a giveaway … but not enough.

What actually happened was that the keeper tipped the ball over the bar preventing Nugent from getting the chance to score and what this illiterate doughnut of a commentator wanted to say was, “the ball would probably have hit the bar (if the keeper hadn’t tipped it over), and then it just might have come down to Nugent who could maybe have tapped it in.”

This berk was the “expert” teamed with a match commentator who kept on saying, “that’s the sikth corner of the game … we are in the sikth minute …” another one of my long-term bugbears (see: Sick of Sikth)

In the Sunday Times this sentence jumped out at me:

“The universe runs on nuclear power, why not us?”

It made me blink that one, and I had to think about it – I mean you can’t say, “… why not we?” but you could say, “… why can’t we?”

And that’s the Sunday Times!!! And the BBC is by no means immune to the kind of Stephen-King-horror-grammar that makes you jump in shock.

BBC1 News reporting on Prince Harry/William (can never remember which is which) who is in the army and who might have to go with his squadron to Iraq:

“… so, it could be that Prince Harry/William’s squadron and him will now be sent to Iraq …”

Him? HIM!!!??? His squadron and HIM!!!?????

Still the choicest bloops come from the footy commentators. Last night as Man Utd ripped Roma to pieces the “expert” had this to say about Ronaldo:

“Well, Ronaldo certainly bears comparison with the incomparable George Best…”

Ho hum.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

British (Laughing) Gas

...every time I come to Liverpool, it's the same story...

The basic situation is this:

I live in Deepest Bavaria - my mother's house is in Liverpool - she died in 2005 - I come over every few months to see things are ok ...

Because of this I get all the utility bills online ... should get ...

I opened an online account with British Gas so that they would send me the bills by email and I could pay them by online banking.


But it seems that British Gas suffers from some sort of corporate Alzheimer's; every time I get to the house there is a series of frantic letters from British Gas ... a final final demand for a bill; they want to break in to check the boiler; they want to break in to make a reading ... and now they want to break in to take out the electricity meter ...

So every time I have to go through the intensely irritating telephonic jumping through hoops to get to speak to someone about whatever panic they now have ...

"Thank you for calling British Gas - your call is very important to us - if you are calling about blah press blah, if you have a blah, press blah ..."

I mean if the call really is important to them then how about having a REAL person there answering the phone?

And the main problem with the options is that there is never one that says, "if you live in Deepest Bavaria and keep getting a load of stupid letters from British Gas, please press blah ..."

What you need is a hacker who gets into the system and adds a few options:

"if you would like a bucket of water to be thrown at the next available operator, press blah - if you would to crash the next available operator's computer, press blah - if you would like someone here to be given a mild electric shock through the phone, press blah ..."

On second thoughts, cancel that last one ... I would end up with a series of letters asking for me to pay for the shock ...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tempus Fugit

... that'll have you rummaging in cobwebbed corners of your memories through creased and faded Latin vocabulary lists.

Anyway, as time is flying, it is time to fly ... time to fly over to Liverpool again and see if there is any sign of a leak in the ceiling.

So, tomorrow it will be Wolfgang Amadeus to John Winston again ... and maybe tempus will fugit a little more slowly and i will be able to do some serious blogging again...!