Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fingernails Down Blackboards Moment

From Janice Turner in The Times:-
I decided to check out Sainsbury’s booze aisles in the mode of someone with great thirst and little cash. Excitingly, my own under-age teenage fave Babycham — “the happiest drink in the world” — is still a snip at £3.18 but, at only 6 per cent proof, it would take more than four dainty bottles to make you feel like smashing up a bus shelter. Special Brew (two litres for £6 at 9 per cent proof) seemed worthy of Chris Grayling’s opprobrium until I spied this week’s soaraway offer: £7 for two bottles of nice Chilean chardonnay, 11.5 per cent proof. Neck that outside the community centre and you’d be in pole position for an ASBO.
But really there is only one winner, endorsed by maudlin Russians and Scandinavian suicides for centuries: vodka. Just £6 a litre and EU regulations dictate that it must be 37.5 per cent proof minimum. Mr Grayling insisted that he would root out shopkeepers selling alcohol below cost price. But the point of vodka is that, as it is little more than distilled potato juice, it costs pennies to produce.
 Actually, it's a great piece, but one of my Things I Would Do If Made PM is to have people birched for using "proof" when they mean "ABV". Everyone, EVERYONE gets this wrong. We dropped "proof" about 2 decades ago in the UK. Get with it...


  1. Can you still by voddy for £4 for a full size bottle? Seems pretty good value to me.

    Will you birch people for other grammatical errors as well? What about logical or factual errors, aka lying? What about people who refuse to accept that economics or science applies to everyday life, not just in the abstract?

    There'll be a lot of birching going on if you do.

  2. No, I can live with those.

    The proof/ABV thing is a personal one because I seem to be the only person who gets wound up about it.