Tesco, the British supermarket chain that struck a deal with the Tata Group last month to open a dozen stores in India, has been adjudged winner of the 2014 Bad Grammar Award for describing its own brand of orange juice as ‘most tastiest’.
The winners for the quirky award instituted by the Idler Academy were announced at an event here last night. Prominent BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, who was one of the judges, accused Tesco of "sheer, clear stupidity".
Shadow Education secretary Tristram Hunt was the runner-up for "ill written and mangled English" in his tortuous motion proposed earlier this year in the House of Commons.
Both Hunt and Tesco were offered a free grammar course as a prize.
Tesco fell foul of the judges for using "less" for "fewer" in the slogan printed on loo roll packaging: "Less Waste. Less Lorries." It also produced a load of ungrammatical nonsense on the side of an own brand orange juice carton, including the sentence: "We squeeze or press it only when it's perfectly ripe and at its most tastiest."
Paxman said: "In a crowded field, I'd like to give it to Tristram Hunt. I suppose all that verbiage is supposed to hide his mistakes. But it does make it very long. So for sheer, clear, stupidity, it has to be Tesco."
Tom Hodgkinson of the Idler Academy said: "We set up the Bad Grammar Award not to sneer at mistakes made by ordinary people, but to highlight examples of political windbaggery and marketing humbug”.
He added: “We invite both Mr Hunt and Sir Richard Broadbent, Chairman of Tesco, to come along to a grammar course at the Idler Academy. We'd be happy to offer them a free session as we believe it would be in the public interest if they stopped muddling us with this nonsense."
Hunt’s motion in ‘mangled English’ read: "That this House believes that no school system can surpass the quality of its teachers; and therefore resolves that all teachers in all state-funded schools should be qualified or working towards Qualified Teacher Status, be undertaking ongoing continuing professional development and have their skills and knowledge re-validated throughout their careers in order to support them to excel in the classroom, to improve learning outcomes for all children in all schools, to uphold discipline in the classroom, to tailor their teaching to children with special educational needs and to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers."