Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'm developing a game to play while I do the housework. I have BBC Radio 4 on during the day1, and Radio 4 spends most of its time mildly entertaining me, or deeply irritating me depending on its mood. I find it very hard to turn off, even on those days when it's snarky and determined to get under my skin by being even more London-centric, fatuous, and patronising than usual.

I need a trigger to get me to turn it off when it's like that. Hence Radio 4 Bingo. I'm making a list of key annoying words and phrases that, when I hear someone using them on air, I can cross off a bingocard like grid. Once I've crossed off enough to shout "Bingo!", or "House!", (or whatever it is the mad old grannies who play bingo shout) I can turn off the radio.

So far the list is:
  • 'Absolutely!' - when used in answer to a question - where 'yes' would have been a really good answer.
  • 'Devastated' - double points if the so-called devastation is caused by something so trivial that you roll your eyebrows in disgust2. Earthquakes are devastating. Having it rain on your day out in Disneyland Paris is just a bit of a piss off.
  • 'Issues' (as a noun).
  • Any new (to you) verbing3 of a noun. Today I heard an avant-guarde art gallery curator saying, of a group of artists, "What we do here is forefront them."
  • Any new (to you) piece of mangled English that makes you wish you knew more about grammar and syntax so could work out exactly what did just happened in your ears, e.g. today I heard "It depends how limitating it is..."
  • Bad creative writing in the weather forecast; "Over the night-time period" being a favourite at the moment.
This list will grow.

1 - Well, it's company innit?
2 - It takes practice.
3 - A point to me!

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