David Parkin on annoying Americanisms, turn-off TV and losing out on Twitter

HAVE a nice day!
There was a time when this American phrase used to annoy most Brits.
I don’t think it ever caught on and became well used in this country, but it did highlight Americans’ approach to customer service.
Given the shoddy approach to service that you get from many people working in retail and hospitality, perhaps we’d welcome hearing more of it.
‘Hi’ has been adopted as a greeting by many over this side of the pond and I’m worried that we might be moving onto its annoying hybrid: ‘Hey’.
Watch any American TV programme and this is the greeting that people of all ages tend to use. I don’t understand where it has come from, perhaps it stems from a demand for attention in this increasingly self-obsessed world in which we all live.
A friend of mine who is married to an American has started greeting me with the word: ‘Hey’. I’ve decided to ignore him until he cuts this awful word out of his vocabulary.
What’s worse is that he has gone from a real Yorkshire greeting of ‘Now then’ to ‘Hey’.
And if you eat out within minutes of your food being served you can bet your life (that phrase sounds a bit American) that a member of staff will be over to say: “How is the food, guys.”
Guys? I hate it and many of the other Americanisms that have pervaded our language.
One phrase I keep hearing on US TV shows is: “We’re done.”
It seems to mean can be used in the context of a conversation, a business
As a consequence I intend to watch back-to-back DVDs of Ealing comedies and Margaret Rutherford films this weekend to whisk me away to a world that is more British.
So when it comes to using Americanised phrases, I’m taking a rain check baby.
I’VE come to the conclusion that the only way you would end up watching more than five minutes of local TV show Made in Leeds is if you lose your TV remote control.
I’ve commented before about how poor this channel is and, several months on, it doesn’t appear to be getting better.
I switched it on the other evening to catch the end of an exercise show that consisted of two women on mats doing stretching exercises in a nondescript room.
It was followed by a programme called Challenge Charlotte which features a “busy businesswoman and mother” who says she runs three businesses who takes on “daring” challenges set by….her cameraman.
The programme promotes the Twitter hashtag #ChallengeCharlotte
Nobody appears to use have used it yet. But given the desperately dull nature of her challenges – she tried out gymnastics and shooting on the episode I watched – I doubt it garners an audience that gets into double figures.
I know Made in Leeds is not going to have a big budget, but when you are in the TV business you are going to be compared to other broadcasters.
In which case why do they bother making cheap ‘me too’ versions of much better programmes on other networks?
Shouldn’t they be trying a fresh approach, rather than aping better made stuff elsewhere?
When it comes to exercise shows, the Australians got it right 20 years ago – stick attractive people in a great looking location with the sun shining overhead and you’ve got yourself a well-watched programme.
Quite what the demographic of Aerobics Oz Style was, I’m not sure. 
Two people grunting on mats in a badly-lit exercise studio is not going to attract anyone, least of all advertisers.
Made in Leeds TV is so bad that I’d probably turn down the chance to present a chat show on the channel.
I said probably.
I’VE taken to using Twitter a bit more since the launch of COPA, our new events and travel business.
Sadly my mickey-taking sense of humour doesn’t appear to translate very well on social media.
Last week I called several Huddersfield fans “losers” days before going to see my team, Derby County, play the Terriers at the John Smiths’ Stadium.
I was greeted with icy glances and a crushing handshake from entrepreneur Andy Needham, a Town fan and recent star of Dragons’ Den with his Approved Foods business.
Given Andy is about twice the size of me, I should have kept my views to myself. Well at least before the match.
Then I took the mickey out of a PR chap suggesting he was a “social media loser”. I was still congratulating myself on my wit when he replied: “Speaking of social media losers, the link to COPA in your Twitter bio is misspelled so it goes to another company.”
For those that hadn’t met me before, my incompetence was highlighted to the entire Twittersphere.
What was worse was that several people favourited this Tweet.
I think I better step away from social media interaction in future.
Or get a better sense of humour.
Have a great weekend.

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