Friday, November 16, 2007

You Say Potato, I Say 'How Much Is This Costing Me?'.

I was going to a post about Quangos but got bored. However whilst looking up something about my favourite Quango, The British Potato Council (you could say that I have a chip on my shoulder about them), I came across this story from 2005:

Potato farmers held a noisy protest outside Parliament today to get the term "couch potato" removed from the Oxford English dictionary, claiming it harms the vegetable's image.

A similar rally took place outside the offices of the dictionary's publishers in Oxford, with demonstrators carrying signs that read "couch potato out" and "ban the term couch potato".

The British Potato Council wants the expression stripped from the Oxford English Dictionary and replaced in everyday speech with the term "couch slouch". It says the phrase makes the vegetable seem unhealthy and is bad for its image.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "couch potato" started life as American slang. It means: "A person who spends leisure time passively or idly sitting around, especially watching television or video tapes."

Kathryn Race, head of marketing at the British Potato Council which represents some 4,000 growers and processors, said the group had written to the Oxford English Dictionary stating its objections but had not yet had a response.

So the government sets up a pointless agency to lobby the government to do something that isn't within the power of the government to do. Just remember that the next time a minister starts scaremongering about how cutting taxes will lead to hospitals having to turf out their patients.

UPDATE: In more potato related news, (well I am an unenlightened common 'tater), I've discovered that 2008 is the UN designated "International Year of the Potato". No doubt much to the delight of the Irish.


James Higham said...

Will post on this later, Ross.

Colin Campbell said...

Some of my relatives are in the potato business and I am sure that they will be right behind this. Me I will stick with couch potato, which is what I am doing now.

Ross said...

I hope they do support the campaign, because if they're based in Britain then they have to fund the BPC through a compulsory levy anyway.