‘What’s with the French commentary, why, why, why!’

Para QueenNo, I’m not about to have a moan about the Olympics opening ceremony – that could be safely left to the Daily Mail.

Having reluctantly admitted that it was ‘bloody brilliant’, it couldn’t help adding that ‘viewers voice anger over announcements being made in French first‘.

They couldn’t comment themselves, of course, and left it up to their readers. ‘I didn’t realise Britain had been conquered by Napoleon, We speak English here my announcer,’ wrote Dan.

Yes, it is bloody annoying, but then it is bloody annoying every four years and it must be just as annoying if your first language is Chinese, Korean or even American. Get over it.

Someone who probably won’t get over it is Tory MP and Nazi stag party enthusiast, Aidan Burley, who dismissed the whole thing as ‘multicultural crap‘. And faces dismissal himself as a result.

It is true to say that there was an overall liberal-left tenor to the event which no doubt came from Danny Boyle himself, but then that’s what happens when you commission a Manchester lad to put on a decent show.

And it was certainly that – spectacular, moving and funny in equal measure with enough tongue-in-cheek to show the world that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

I didn’t spot much, if anything, that went wrong, except perhaps Paul McCartney at the end. Sad to say, he really can’t hold a tune these days.

And given that this was the East End and London 2012, why didn’t that honour fall to Chas ‘n’ Dave singing Gertcha?

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

9 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 28th July 2012

    If you complain TOO much, we’ll think you’re Willard Romney.

  • Mr Parrot 28th July 2012

    I wasn’t complaining at all, well at least only about the complainers!

  • Burly Pudding 28th July 2012

    I was annoyed about the French commentary too. It’s a hangover from the past – as if, as an imperial language, French was on a par with English. Those days are long gone. I found the opening ceremony far too rich – too much happening but I was pleased to see the big nod given to the NHS – put that in your pipe and smoke it Cameron!

  • rhymeswithplague 29th July 2012

    French and English have been the “Olympic languages” from time immemorial, or at least since the modern games began in 1896. French was the sole diplomatic language of the world until English rose to prominence in the nineteenth century and joined it. It ain’t a case of French raining on your parade; just be glad Mandarin Chinese hasn’t been added to the mix yet.

  • rhymeswithplague 29th July 2012

    And there’s also this:

    The revival of the games in the modern era after an interval of over 1000 years since the Greek games was primarily due to a Frenchman, Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee.

    Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

  • Burly Pudding 29th July 2012

    Monsieur Brague – you are only defending the use of French as “Brague” is a common French surname once associated with snail farming. At least we English wear knickers we can get in a twist! I understand you Frenchmen, like Baron de Coubertin, wear ladies’ stockings and suspenders under your trousers with no knickers at all!

  • Trevor Rowley 29th July 2012

    Mr Plague: I think you might find that the revival of the Olympics in the modern era was not due solely to the Frenchman as an Englishman was also credited as having an influence over it as well. Sorry, but I can’t give you a name but he was from Shropshire (if not from there, he was certainly living there at the time). He devised some form of Olympic-inspired sports competition at Wem(?) in Shropshire which the Frenchman came over to have a look at and he was impressed by what he saw. The Frenchman, assisted by the Englishman, got the thing off the ground to become the international competition that we know now. The Wem competition still survives apparently

    PS Yet again, an example of how us Brits come to the aid of the frogs.

  • rhymeswithplague 29th July 2012

    My father insisted until his dying day that his family was Welsh, but I, ever the purist, insisted that with a spelling like that the name Brague must have come over to the British Isles in the Norman Conquest.

    However, Pudding has uncovered (no pun intended) my secret involving ladies’ stockings and suspenders sans knickers. If he were here instead of being forced to fantasise, he too would undoubtedly be impressed by what he saw.

  • Jay from The Depp Effect 29th July 2012

    I wondered about the French commentary, but OH says the president of the Olympic committee is French, so I guess that’s why it is. Quite reasonable under the circs.

    It didn’t offend me, though I must admit I though perhaps English first might be more diplomatic since the Olympics are being held here. Oh well. We English are very bad at learning other people’s languages.


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