That World Cup Draw
What a curious piece of television last night's World Cup Draw proved to be.
Understanding how the draw worked could have been a membership qualification for Mensa.
I was so confused that when the presiding official held up a piece of paper with G4 written on it, I thought England had been drawn against the runners-up in last year's X Factor. That would have been an even easier match than Paraguay because there are only four of them and one is rather overweight. But they could have sung Bohemian Rhapsody before the game which would have got the tournament off to a jolly start.
The dreaded Motson was at his absolute worst last night, his Brummie larynx in overdrive. Most of the event was conducted in English but Motson still talked over the presenter continuously. It was like having two radios on in the house tuned to different stations.
At one point Motson said 'as the rest of this will be in English I can keep quiet for a bit'. Oh no you can't, we all thought. And of course, he couldn't.
When Germany were drawn against Poland, Motson told us "Germany and Poland met in 1974." For many people their 1939 fixture was more memorable but Motty was tactful enough not to mention it. I'm not sure that Ron Atkinson wouldn't have done so.
But Motson wasn't so concerned about the sensitivities of pedants because he used 'criteria' as a singular instead of 'criterion'.
Then, on this morning's Today programme I heard "Paraguay, Trinidad, Sweden.....only the latter poses a problem".
It's time the BBC instituted a Literacy Hour for its staff, like the ones they have in schools. I feel sorry for teachers when their efforts are daily undermined by what used to be the gold standard of correct English, the BBC.
Bring back Lord Reith, Alvar Liddell and that nice Kenneth Wolstenholme. And Clement Attlee too. The last wouldn't allow one of his Ministers to publish a book of poetry because the verses didn't scan. Now that's class.