Every year in the UK the worst examples of gobbledegook win recognition with a Golden Bull award. Here are 10 of the prime examples from 2003.

1. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” (Not so much funny as extremely worrying.)

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger for: “I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.”

3. Jungle.com, for its reply when asked if it sold blank CDs: “We are currently in the process of consolidating our product range to ensure that the products that we stock are indicative of our brand aspirations. As part of our range consolidation we have also decided to revisit our supplier list and employ a more intelligent system for stock acquisition. As a result of the above certain product lines are now unavailable through jungle.com, whilst potentially remaining available from more mainstream suppliers.” (That’s a no, then?)

4. Lloyds Pharmacy for a letter of apology: “The cognitive process that staff will go through when interpreting prescriptions and selecting drugs is almost intuitive in that the prescription will be read, a decision is then made in the mind of the individual concerned, they will then make a selection based on what they have decided. When an error is made either mentally or in the physical selection process it is difficult for the individual concerned to detect their own error because in their own mind they have made the correct selection.”

5. Marks and Spencer for a label on a roast chicken salad: “Now with roast chicken”

6. SMEG for a fridge instruction booklet: “At this point you must press contemporary the P1+P2 buttons and then this phase the writing ‘Time to end’ flashes up.’
· ‘This allows to make function the dishwasher at the time you want. By pressing one after the oter button DELAY PROGRAM (5), it will be seen on the display the vizualisation of delay hours numbers in which you want to make start the machine from 12 hours onward.’
· ‘The display will be turned on with a vizualisation that will depend on the state of the dishwasher.’
· ‘By pressing the relative button of desired program (see table) it will lid up the relative pilot light to confirm that the operation did occurred on the DISPLAY (9) will appear a program duration forecasting (‘h.mm’).”

7. The Social Fund maternity and funeral expenses (general) regulations, for: “For the purposes of these Regulations, a person shall be treated as a member of a polygamous relationship where, but for the fact that the relationship includes more than two persons, he would be one of a married or unmarried couple.’ ‘In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to a numbered regulation is a reference to the regulation bearing that number in these regulations and any reference in a regulation to a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph of that regulation bearing that number.’

8. Standard Life for a trust deed: ” ‘THE SETTLER HEREBY ASSIGNS unto the Original Trustees who, by their execution hereof accept the position of trustees, each of the policy or policies, particulars whereof are set out in the Schedule hereto, and the monies assured thereby and all other monies which may become payable in respect of the said policy or policies of assurance BUT ALWAYS EXCLUDING any policy or policies which may constitute a Protected Rights Fund of the Standard Life Appropriate Personal Pension Scheme or the Standard Life Stakeholder Pension Scheme (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Policies’) to hold the same unto the Original Trustees upon the irrevocable trusts hereinafter declared concerning the same.”

9. Warburtons bakery for an advert in The Grocer: “With a launch burst of 550 TVRs – and £34m in ‘premiumisation’ opportunities – we’re confident you’ll rise to the challenge.”

10. Yousef El-Deiry for an article in JMC airline’s Intercom magazine: “As we enter the last third of the summer season, we are faced with a period of operation, which is historically characterised by pre-maturity, both in terms of psychological wind-down and shedding of temporary staff. ‘Once bitten, twice shy,’ and history shows that our bridges can so easily be burnt and the strength of current position lost, if we allow this malice to gather momentum. The irony is that, it is in the latter stages of a race or championship that fortunes are made or lost, and where heroes are born or die, and we should be in no doubt that; ‘it ain’t over until the fat lady sings’.” Mr El-Deiry continued for a further seven paragraphs, and in accepting his award in good humour said: “What’s a little cliché amongst colleagues? There is truth in every cliché: worse things happen at sea, when it rains it pours an even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.”