Monday, 30 July 2007

That is so random!

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Am I going mad? Has there been a global announcement that I have missed regarding a change in meaning of the word 'random'? Why do I seem to be the only one who minds when people describe events as "random" when they are, in fact, anything but random?

This morning on BBC Radio 1 a newsreader, a newsreader by the name of David Garrido, when introducing a clip from an interview with a player from the French rugby league team the Catalans Dragons, said the following:
He's French but spent a lot of time playing rugby in Australia, so stand by for possibly the most random accent ever.
The sportsman in question was then heard talking in an accent that can only be described as half French, half Australian. How random! I had a similar random experience this morning when I got in my car, put the key in the ignition, turned it and the engine randomly started!


It's not random, you idiot. It's unusual, it's peculiar, it's possibly even a little bit bizarre but in no way is it random. It would be random if a Frenchman living for an extended period of time in Australia started to speak with a Jamaican accent or a broad Scottish brogue.

I shouldn't really pick on David, he's far from alone. I just expect more from a BBC journalist - even a sports reporter.

You can listen to the broadcast in question here, the offending sentence occurs on the 40 minute mark so you might want to use the skip function.

It appears the link I used was to the most recent broadcast, so as of Tuesday that link was incorrect. I've fixed it now. That link will work until 10am (GMT+1) next Monday.

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Blogger Paddy said...

I believe Radio 1 Newsbeat is to blame for most of modern society's lexical ills. Equally worrying is its phonological impact, due to the specific tone in which its newspuppets are trained to speak. Their over-zealous employment of emphasis as a device to prevent your average, vacuous Radio 1 listener from nodding off at vital moments during news bulletins is highly irritating. Special shame should reside on the shoulders of Georgina Bowman and Tulip Mazumdar.

"People in Tewkesbury are enjoying WATER for the FIRST TIME in SEVEN DAYS."

"Yes it IS patronising AND offputting that I speak in this way, but it's what I've been TRAINED TO DO."

The role of Newsround icon Lizo Mzimba in this trend should perhaps not go totally unchided (you don't mind made up words here, do you?). However, given that he (a) specifically addresses children and (b) dons lovely spectacles, he commands forgiveness. More chideworthy is BBC political editor Nick Robinson, who seems intent on taking the same kind of highly patronising emphases to adult BBC News broadcasts. It seems that what Newsbeat does, the rest follow. Georgina Bowman is the despotic figurehead with Lizo Mzimba as her spiritual guide, and they now have Nick Robinson as the keen minion who has somehow acquired misplaced power and influence and is intent on phonological carnage. They must be stopped.

This phonology-based rant may be outside the umbrella of this fine blog, but I wrote it anyway.

30 July 2007 at 23:56  
Blogger Gez said...

That is a grade 'A' comment, Paddy, made up words and all (chideworthy is perhaps pushing it a bit but is such a fanastic word I've added it to my MS word dictionary).

31 July 2007 at 10:07  
Blogger Gez said...

Of course, you realise I meant to type 'fantastic'. Curse these stupid fingers of mine.

31 July 2007 at 10:49  
Blogger Dan said...

A comprehensive RANT from Paddy, which leaves LITTLE ELSE to do apart from


in agreement.

NICK Robinson, BBC News, Camp David.

31 July 2007 at 11:27  
Anonymous said...

This won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I consider.

25 November 2011 at 19:13  

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