Former US president George W. Bush topped a poll of the worst examples of mangled English released Wednesday, followed closely by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Rumsfeld (Agencies).
French footballer-cum-philospher Eric Cantona and former US president Bill Clinton also produced prime examples of gobbledegook, according to the online poll of 4,000 people inspired by the Plain English Campaign.
Notoriously language-challenged Bushromped to the top accolade for his: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
Second came to bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-California governor Schwarzenegger, who during an election campaign in 2003 minted the puzzling: "I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman."
The rest of the top 10 in the poll, commissioned by an insurance company after it won an award from the Plain English Campaign, were:
3. Rumsfeld, in February 2002: "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."
4. Murray Walker, motor racing commentator: "The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical."
5. John Motson, football commentator: "For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are playing in yellow."
6. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, explaining budget plans to lawmakers in July this year: "Total spending will continue to rise and it will be a zero percent rise in 2013-14."
7. Clinton, in 1998 grand jury testimony about Monica Lewinsky: "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If 'is' means 'is and never has been' that's one thing -- if it means 'there is none', that was a completely true statement."
8. Cantona, 1995: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea."
9. Bush, July 2001: "I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right."
10. London mayor Boris Johnson, on British satirical gameshow "Have I Got News for You" in 2003: "I could not fail to disagree with you less."