Wogan’s words

Tributes to the much-loved broadcaster, Terry Wogan, speak of his ability to communicate with millions as if they were his friends. Many also mention his skilful use of the English language.

When the BBC was taken to task some years ago for failing to police its presenters’ and reporters’ use of English, the campaigners made an exception for Wogan.

An obituary in the Telegraph remarked that Wogan, as an enthusiastic reader of PG Wodehouse, James Joyce and Flann O’Brien, could lay claim to a certain erudition. He himself said he was a bit lazy, but according to another newspaper, he just didn’t let on how clever he really was.

He came up with some wonderful phrases, but in my view a large part of his secret was that he mostly used simple, everyday words. A computer analysis of the language used by successful communicators, including Terry Wogan, found that they all used a high proportion of simple words that everyone would understand.

Read and enjoy the BBC’s page called Sir Terry Wogan in his own words.

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