I have a horrible feeling I’ll be posting parts 2, 3 etc… to this topic as the Games progress.

It’s Friday 27th, the day of the Opening Ceremony, but in fact the Olympics started at the beginning of the week with some women’s football. And with that, the first blinding example of what seems to be an innate British ability to show a remarkable lack of cultural awareness.

So far the most newsworthy items have been…

19th July: First Capital Connect’s Olympic security advice poster, sent to several train stations, which in Arabic was totally illegible due to the characters being back to front and not joined up.

26th July: South Korean flags are shown next to the North Korean women’s football team on the first day of sport, causing such offence that the team walked off the pitch & refused to play until the team was redisplayed with the correct flag.

27th July: Archery fans were turned away from ranking events described as “Unticketed” after being told this actually means “closed to the public”.

This last one interests me greatly, as I would have thought LOCOG might have spent some time deciding their ticket terminology, particularly for clarity of understanding amongst international visitors wanting to buy tickets. Indeed, there were a number of international fans who travelled specifically to see that ranking event, only to be barred at the gate.

Without supplying a glossary, I honestly don’t see how the Olympic organisers can be surprised that punters have read “unticketed” as meaning free to the public – particularly for a pre-competition ranking event, and when it has been widely publicised that there are several competitive events that are free to the public, such as the road cycling races or the marathon. Furthermore, there have been several “official” quotes that have separately described both the supposedly closed archery session and the free public events as “non ticketed”.

The screenshot I’ve just taken clearly shows these ranking events listed on the Ticketing section of the London2012 site – so if these were never to attract public attendance, why list them there at all? They follow the same pattern as the ticketed events in the way they are displayed – so really LOCOG should hold their hands up to unclear terminology.

London2012 Language Gaffes…

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