Martin Dimartino Marriott

Tag: grammar

Sir Alan’s only gone and fired English

by Martin on Apr.12, 2009, under Articles by Martin, Blog

alan_sugar_bad English Is it just me, but should Sir Alan take a look at himself before having a pop at others’ shortcomings (granted it makes for good telly and they’re all incompetent tits who need shouting at anyway!) — certainly as far as his grammatical ability is concerned anyway.
What I’m talking about — as Sam Wollaston also lampooned in last week’s Guardian — is Sir Alan’s apparent lack of command of the English Language. In the intro segment of each show we hear Sir Alan say “Second prize…don’t exist” which is blatent poor grammar from our favourite multi-millionaire; mixing up singular and plural. But it doesn’t stop there with this grammatical misdemeanour — in episode two he incorrectly refers to a CV as a Résumé, but then arduously mispronounces it with the stress on the sum syllable — rèSUMè. If you insist on using the American term, at least say it correctly!
Further embracement comes in episode 3 when he gives the teams a challenge to design fitness equipment, whereupon he instructs “the most amount of orders, wins”. Surely that’s not right, Sir Alan — ‘amount’ is a quantified given; it cannot be ‘most amount’. I think what he meant was ‘most orders’ or ‘largest amount’ at a push.
Considering Sir Alan ‘don’t talk’ much talking during the show, he commits a grammatical faux pas every time he opens his mouth.
Later on in the boardroom segment, when he is reprimanding the teams, he yet again instructs them to go away and discuss ‘amongst yourself’. Now, I can understand that he may have been trying to refer to the group as a single entity, but I hardly feel that appropriate given the context. FAIL.
My gripes with the show extend to the way in which it’s narrated. In episode 3, the teams are creating the POS (point of sale) material for their products, during which the narrator refers to them as ‘marketing posters’. That is so factually and technically incorrect it’s visible from space — that’s a pretty detailed poster they must have! You see, this is just another example of the average TV-viewing public considering ‘Promotion’ to be the same as ‘Marketing’. The more informed among us know this couldn’t be further from the truth, and that the posters in question were simply single items of Promotion, only a fraction of overall efforts; I’m not doing a Masters degree in posters…or promotion for that matter.
In Sir Alan’s own words “Expressing yourself amongst people is part of business”, so why can’t he get it right? As we know he left school at 16, but you’d have thought in order to become as successful as he is, he’d need to have developed competent grasp of authoritative discourse and the English Language.

Gimme a job Al’ me’ ol’ mate.

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