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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Time for an overhaul of our rating system

FOR a long time we’ve used the traditional rating method involving stars – one is bad, five is good.

EM Peter Grenville column
Peter Grenville

I’m a bit bored with that to be honest, so just in time for Christmas, I’m proposing we adopt a new, more entertaining, system.

We need some way of expressing our happiness using something that’s simple to understand, and the five-star system has served us well (at least until the frightening band of the same name showed up in the late ’80s).

The problem is, it’s all a bit dull, and you never really know if someone is using more than the recommended five. Or less, maybe. Is the fact your darling little tyke has got a gold star for that drawing of an orange starfish (or was it the sun?) good? Or was it out of five?

The system is corrupt too – top hotels now claim six-star levels of plushness.

I’ve felt the need to seek assistance from a nine-ish-year-old called Rebecca to come up with a universal system to clearly show what’s good and what patently isn’t. Here we go then...

“Pants” (formerly one star): Really rubbish things – when your alarm goes off at 6.45 on a dark winter’s morning; terrible food in a restaurant; anybody who’s ever appeared on the X-Factor. And celery.

“Pantish” (formerly two stars): A bit better, but still fairly disappointing – burgers that look like a sad, squashed, damp version of the one in the picture; free gifts in magazines; Keane’s last album. And Fearne Cotton.

“Uh-huh” (formerly three stars): Not bad, but not great – most Christmas specials on TV (with the possible exception of Doctor Who); diet versions of fizzy drinks; chocolate not made by Cadbury. And most Cumbrian summers.

“Coolio” (formerly four stars): Pretty darn good, but not quite perfect – Star Trek: Voyager; chocolate digestives, Sheena Easton circa 1981. And Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Phish Food).

“Epic” (formerly five stars): The knees of the bees! Couldn’t be better! – Chocolate Hob-Nobs, ELO’s Out Of Blue album, cappuccinos. And this rating system.

Just think how this will revolutionise things from now on. Nick Robinson, standing outside number 10, saying “The PM’s fiscal policy for economic recovery is, according to insiders, pantish to say the least”; Your hotel describing itself as giving you coolio levels of luxury; The new Rolling Stones album reviewed simply as “uh-huh”.

True, it’s going to take up a bit more space in the paper, but sacrifices have to be made, people. It’s for the greater good.

It’s going to be an epic experience.

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