Monday, December 06, 2010

what a bunch of hunts

Nice of the BBC to keep me entertained by swearing like inebriated dockers as I sat in a traffic jam for an hour or so on the way to work this morning - I missed Jim Naughtie's Spooneristic mis-rendering of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's name on the Today programme, although I did tune in in time for the subsequent grovelling apologies. However, just in case late joiners were feeling left out, Andrew Marr repeated the slip on Start The Week, while attempting to refer to the incident during a discussion about Sigmund Freud.

The incident put me in mind of Nicky Campbell's problems (on Radio Five Live, I think) with the name of the West Kent Hunt - amusingly that incident was also compounded by attempting to refer back to it later and repeating the faux pas. It's always the Scots, isn't it? Well, to be fair the Americans seem to do it from time to time as well.

I'm sure Naughtie and Marr are high-profile enough not to be in any danger of suffering the same fate as Radio 4 continuity announcer Peter Jefferson, who was "persuaded" to take early retirement shortly after this on-air indiscretion. And he only said "fuck"!


Richard T said...

Why are these remarks being called spoonerisms? The substitution of the c word for hunt is basic rhyming slang - in full the berkely Hunt shortened to berk for politeness' sake I believe.

electrichalibut said...

You're not wrong about the derivation of berk, but the point about the Naughtie slip-up was that it was unintentional (and it pretty obviously was if you listen to the full clip). And the "c" comes from the word "culture" that Naughtie obviously had in his head, so "Spoonerism" seems about right to me.