That is, Bring on the Euros (the European football championships), supposedly as pronounced by the new manager.
The Sun’s story continued “We’ll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance”.
It is gratifying to see that this mocking of Hodgson’s pronunciation has led to numerous complaints and to the Football Association condemning the headline as ‘unacceptable’.
The FA and the Press Complaints Commission have today received a large number of objections relating to the front page headline in the Sun newspaper, regarding Roy Hodgson’s manner of speech.The FA Chairman, David Bernstein, said:
On this occasion, we will not be making an official complaint to the PCC but we have raised it with the newspaper and made it clear that their front page is unacceptable to us.
We are delighted at the media response to Roy’s appointment but are disappointed with the headline in the Sun, which we consider is in poor taste and disrespectful.
The Sun now claims that Hodgson is “affectionately known as Woy due to his speech impediment”.
We had some discussion of labial r last year (blog, 6 April 2011).
However, Hodgson does not have an r-sound like Sir Peter Tapsell’s. If you actually listen to his voice you will notice that his articulation of r is not particularly labial and certainly not w-like. It is more of a velar approximant, ɰ.
But the criticism remains: no one, and particularly not journalists, should mock the afflicted. We can gently mock Ken Livingstone for being a newt-lover, or Donald Trump for his improbable combover. But we wouldn’t poke fun at someone who was blind or disabled. Equally, we oughtn’t to laugh at someone for their idiosyncratic pronunciation.