The case for proofreading – exhibit A

Nothing more need be said about this incident. Good old public sector.

Mis-translated bilingual road sign


Everyone’s a pundit… so am I

Twenty-seven hours on from England’s dismal World Cup exit and I’ve just about forgotten the whole thing. What else can we do? Another abject failure. Another boringly lazy performance. Another familiar sheen of disappointment on the long journey home.

But is it?

Ever four years, I sit there and think the same thing. In fact, with every passing four years, the thought increases. And the thought is:


Contrary to the opinions of every lorry driving, bacon sandwich eating, Daily Star reading gentleman pundit of our land, England FC are not amongst the best teams in the world. They do not have a God-given right to lift a major trophy. In fact, they are not supposed to even reach a semi-final.

You see, England are ranked eighth in the world. Only eighth. Granted, a good position. But not a world-beating one. Eighth suggests that if England performed to par, they would just about scrape into the quarter-finals of a a World Cup. Just about. So if the rankings are anything to go by, England have just about performed to par.

I know what the bacon brigade will say. ‘Yeah, but that’s because we’ve underperformed. That’s because we have to play harder teams in Europe.’ True. But only to a point. Because by that rationale England have now ‘underperformed’ for so long, that it is no longer possible that they are underperforming. They are actually being consistent.

Every four years we leave a World Cup saying we haven’t done well enough. But by whose yardstick? Not that of our standing in World football. We actually tend to perform pretty much directly in correlation with our world ranking. So we perform adequately.

It takes some convincing for people to realise that we are not all that good.Perhaps being host to the globe’s top club league is partly responsible for the ongoing delusion (despite consisting largely of foreigners). It’s also true that we have seen a few very decent – and one or two world-class players come and go. However, the fact remains that not only are England not a top team, but that they haven’t been for a very, very long time, except in our minds.

What a load of balls

Wrote this while idly waiting for a bus on the eve of the World Cup. Will doubtlessly be writing a revised version over the next week or so. Never expected them to win it but their performances to date have been nothing short of embarrassing.

Twas the night before the World Cup
And all through the house
Every man fit and ready
To neglect his spouse.

A four year wait over
Hope and expectation up
To end 44 years of hurt
And bring home the Cup.

Pundits and plaudits
Critics, fans and press
United in ambition
For England success.

Determination, passion,
Each nation on call.
Rich depth of emotion
Stirred by kicking a ball.

And so to South Africa
A footballing fest
Lions on the savannah
And three on our chest.

Once more on tenterhooks
Whether win or defeat
It’s certain to keep us
On the edge of our seat.

So come on our England
You’ll never walk alone
Fulfil your potential
And bring Jules Rimet home.

The irrepressible rise of Spanglish

The name says it all. A combination of English and Spanish, the meeting of two global languages in one verbal melting pot. I remember a phase of ‘Franglais’ when I was younger; a spate of childish gobbledegook stuck together under the premise of a foreign language. But this is real: a linguistic migration happening in cities all over America. And fast.

Read more on the BBC website:

Brand naming: borrowing from experience

Another little article about brand naming from the Branding Today website. I’m rather interested by some of these little titbits, having spent many occasions craning over my pad searching for inspiration. This offering talks about the power of associating your brand name with human experience – letting the natural emotional connection do the hard work for you. It’s sort of obvious but still important – and a good source for ideas.