From time to time, I watch television. It is a largely harmless pursuit. Or at least it should be. Sometimes it just makes me angry.
Let’s start with golf. I am constantly irritated by cries of “in the hole” every time a shot is played. I’m no golf expert but even I know that not every shot is intended to go in the hole.
Political journalists (while I relish some of the scathing comments they make) promise too much. They say such-and-such a politician is in “deep trouble” and might lose their position. But the politician seems to happily carry on, caring not that they have lied to, insulted, misled, cheated, laughed at, or ignored the people who voted for them. These journos shouldn’t get my hopes up like that.
And some serious-appearing newsreaders relate racy revelations from the louche lives of “internet influencers”, not seeming to realise that I utterly don’t care for these squalid sagas and have no idea who they are talking about in the first place.
TV chefs, now they really annoy me. I’m tired of them telling of exotic dishes to be made from leftovers in the fridge. Their leftovers include edamame beans, tamarind paste, and butternut squash. Whereas my fridge contains a quarter tub of margarine (liberally speckled with toast crumbs) and a half jar of off-colour beetroot. Let’s see them make a tasty dinner for four out of that!
But more commonly it is the things people say, and the way they say them, that grate.
I heard a woman on a shopping channel describe a dress shade as “pickled ginger”. It was pink. Another salesperson talked of “happy biscuit”-coloured leggings. They were brown. Do these people really think a daft name for a colour will make us more likely to buy?
There is an advert presented by a chap whose name, I am told, is Rylan. He manages to say: “You’re in the driving seat now, Britain” without using the letter T. It makes me tut every time.
However, let me expound the prime reason for my anti-TV rant. It was this week’s episode of Bake Off: The Professionals. A presenter was assuring a contestant they had performed admirably in the previous round. He said: “You did sick”.
Reader, upon hearing this egregious abuse of the language I wept.
Is this what we have come to? Is this the future? Is this the bitter dish that centuries of spoken English has cooked up?
I shall name this presenter. He makes a living grumbling about ganache with no panache, debating doughy doughnuts, and criticising collapsed croquembouche. Therefore, he can have no complaint if the quality of his spoken English, on a TV show that might be watched by impressionable children, is challenged. He is Liam Charles, a former contestant on The Great British Bake Off.
Let this sinner’s guilt be known throughout the land!
Word of the week
One who lives a simple, quiet life. EG: “I’m an arcadian chap, unused to the sloppy slang of city slickers.”
Read the latest Oh my word! every Saturday in The Courier. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org