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The Annual Statement from the Association of Easily Confused Englishmen
Wednesday, December 12, 2007   4:22 PM

So the Plain English Campaign has announced the winner of this year's "Foot in Mouth" award for "a baffling comment by a public figure." As Language Log has noted numerous times, most damnably here, these people have fairly crummy opinions.

The winner this year is some former English soccer manager I've never heard of. His "baffling" quote?

"He is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through."

I'll leave it to British soccer fans to decide whether this statement holds true, but my immediate and only interpretation of this out-of-context quote is that Wayne Rooney has two types of experience, and that McClaren is contrasting, for example, the time Rooney has spent playing professionally with what Rooney has accomplished in that time.

Even if this statement is a bit clunky — well, it's hardly the worst thing they could have found. See also: 2002 and 2003.

Still, judging from the press this is getting, the Plain English Campaign is having great success pretending to be very dense.

As Ray once said of The Cure: "They are really silly people! Stop listening to them!"

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