Jimi Idyll

Louis Theroux tells of an egregious gap in Jeremy Paxman’s knowledge:

‘I make a point of watching University Challenge. It was odd this week as they had a mistake on that they didn’t acknowledge. Paxo asked a question about Jimi Hendrix, to which the answer was “Voodoo Chile”. The guy gave the right answer, but Paxman didn’t realise it was idiomatic and said “No, it’s Voodoo Chil-e,” pronouncing it like the country.’

It’s hard to take someone seriously after a slip-up like that. But then again, there are plenty of words I have seen written down that I have never heard spoken. Like androgyny (must be down to the company I keep – full of manly men and womanly women and no Placebo fans); idyll (is it ih-dill or does it rhyme with piddle?); turgid (is that a hard ‘g’ sound, or does it rhyme with rigid?).

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August 2006

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