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Off topic: The Eurovision Song Contest and "nul points" [sic]
Thread poster: Timothy Barton

Timothy Barton
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
May 21, 2005

As it's the Eurovision Song Contest today, I thought I'd ask a question that's been bugging me for years. Does anyone know who conned the phrase "nul points"? And when was it first said? I've looked around on the internet and the only explanation I can find is that it reflects the tradition of reading the scores in English and French. But no one seems to mention the fact that it's not French!

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
null May 21, 2005

Null is used in English, e.g. a null set in maths

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
(Redirected from NUL)***
Null is usually that which has no value (nothingness). It originates from the Latin word nullus, meaning not any.

As you will see in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NUL it's used a lot in scientific fields

*** Note that this is redirected from NUL, but there is no entry for NUL.


However, in a Eurovision context, NUL IS used, implicitly referred to as FR:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurovision_Song_Contest
Eurovision Song Contest
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Nul points
Since each of the entrant countries casts a series of votes, it is only rarely that a song has failed to have any votes at all cast for it — under the modern rules this means that the song failed to make the top ten most popular songs in any country. This is also known as receiving nul points, from the practice of reading results in French**** as well as English during the broadcast.

Entries which received no points, or nul points, since the introduction of the current scoring system in 1975 are as follows:


Maybe NUL is simply a spelling variant (right or wrong) that has become associated with the Eurovision.

I have no dictionaries with me where I am writing from, so can't pursue the subject further....but will be interested to hear more:-)


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:27
English to German
I always thought... May 21, 2005

... they said "nil points"...

And no, I'm NOT watching the Eurosvision Song Contest!!!!



[Edited at 2005-05-21 21:14]


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:27
Member (2004)
Italian to English
It was Norway May 21, 2005

that made itself a laughing stock by getting no points (I'm ashamed to say I was watching it) and the expression was definitely used by a French native speaker, i.e. it wasn't Terry Wogan!

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Timothy Barton
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Congratulations to Greece May 21, 2005

(Come on, admit it, you watched it too!)

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Andrea Re  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:27
English to Italian
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and I thought .... May 21, 2005

Timothy Barton wrote:

(Come on, admit it, you watched it too!)


....that I led a sad life:)


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:27
English to French
+ ...
I didn't... May 22, 2005

I didn't watch it... instead I went to the cinema to see Star Wars III

So I don't have much more of a life than you do, I'm afraid...


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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Ah me! I remember it well... May 22, 2005

They don't make Eurovision Song Contest winners like they used to.
You may or may not like "Puppet on a String" (Sandie Shaw, UK, 1967) or "Waterloo" (Abba, Sweden, 1974), but at least they had tunes you could remember. Nowadays its all drums and erotic dancing (not that I mind erotic dancing, but it's supposed to be a SONG contest!)


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Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:27
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
The good old days... May 22, 2005

Jack Doughty wrote:

They don't make Eurovision Song Contest winners like they used to.
You may or may not like "Puppet on a String" (Sandie Shaw, UK, 1967) or "Waterloo" (Abba, Sweden, 1974), but at least they had tunes you could remember. Nowadays its all drums and erotic dancing ... but it's supposed to be a SONG contest!)


I remember and I agree! (except for the erotic dancing part).

And I'm not even European, I just live here.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 08:27
Embrace the cheese! May 22, 2005

Oh what the hell, I thought Norway rocked!!!

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Sara Noss  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
French to English
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Orla is right! May 23, 2005

Orla Ryan wrote:

Oh what the hell, I thought Norway rocked!!!




You must respect the cheese! Moldova's entry complete with a drum beating granny was inspired.


Sara
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/eurovision/2005/fun_games/terryisms.shtml
Just for fun -


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:27
Member (2004)
English to Russian
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Malta ruleZ :) May 23, 2005

I was really amazed by Chiara's performance at the Eurovision. She was fantastic, and I gave two votes for her. Really great voice! She was the best, I think

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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:27
Member (2002)
English to German
Star Wars wins May 26, 2005


I didn't watch it... instead I went to the cinema to see Star Wars III


Very good choice. I did the same and I think it rocked!!

Andy


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:27
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
RotS or Episode 3 Nov 21, 2005

Marie-Claude Falardeau wrote:

I didn't watch it... instead I went to the cinema to see Star Wars III

So I don't have much more of a life than you do, I'm afraid...



Well I don't have a life since I not only saw Episode III twice but I own the DVD. Go ahead, call me a geek! (at the theater, I sat next to a stormtrooper and a Jedi in his 50s, I swear)

My Eurovision anecdote:
My good friend Brian (Irish colleague who does Fr/Ru>En; we were living at the same time in Moscow in the mid-90s) was the English translator for Alla Pugachova, the Russian entry for the contest when it was held in Dublin. She's this faded, dowdy singer-babushka who probably was sent as the entry because of her connections and not due to immense talent. She had immense hair though. Faintly reminded me of a very very fleshy Madonna from the 80s...

Anyway, Brian told me horror stories about how he was treated like a lapdog by Pugachova and her entourage, especially by Kirkorov, her husband, a male version of Pugachova with exactly the same Medusa hair, only black. Behold and die. Apparently Brian was sniffed and shouted at until he couldn't take it anymore and complained to the Irish organizing committee that hired him. Nothing was resolved, the animosity grew. At a crucial media scrum and get-to-know-your-star-from-Transylvania party, either Brian made himself scarce and left Pugachova translator-less or she and her posse ignored him. The result was no one spoke to her and, according to Kirkorov who later screamed at Brian, "she looked like a f... p%$#@!" (a very vulgar Russian word that I can't repeat here). Brian remained unperturbed and just kept on repeating that he was hired by the organizing committee. This is doubly funny since Brian is no taller than a hobbit and Kirkorov is more than 6 ft. tall and much taller with blow-dried hair. Pugachova is also much bigger and can have Brian for breakfast with her boiled eggs and brown bread.

Back in Moskva, where everybody was shocked and puzzled why Pugachova, the mega-star, was only 17th or some such low number, she complained that she lost because "they had conflict with the translator". I was so proud of Brian.

[Edited at 2005-11-22 00:00]


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Thierry LOTTE  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:27
Member (2001)
English to French
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... And the winner is.... Nov 22, 2005

... the one who never watches this tedious TV show.

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