Motor-mouth car owners who just love to gas

PUBLISHED: 11:07 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

CALL me boring, down-to-earth or just plain unimaginative, but the latest piece of trivia to cross my desk left me speechless - unlike many of the people it concerned, apparently. According to research, nearly half of all car owners in the UK talk to thei

CALL me boring, down-to-earth or just plain unimaginative, but the latest piece of trivia to cross my desk left me speechless - unlike many of the people it concerned, apparently.

According to research, nearly half of all car owners in the UK talk to their motors on a regular basis.

The figure is put at 47 per cent, which is quite a few million people.

It seems that they frequently congratulate their cars on a job well done - perhaps "Nice acceleration up that hill, old chap."

They also give words of encouragement ahead of a long journey - "It's quite a distance but I know you can make it."

And they even discuss problems with them - "I'm a bit short of cash right now so can you eke out the petrol until we get home?"

More than a third of owners - a greater proportion of them women - said they believed their car had a personality and was capable of being upset.

And, astonishingly, 19 per cent said they were worried about how their car was feeling.

Is this the real world or was everyone interviewed a Basil Fawlty clone?

Tellingly, 20 per cent of women had a pet name for their beloved car - but not their human partner.

Are Brits the laughing stock of the rest of the world when it comes to bonding with cars?

Do Mexicans press the pedal to their Pedro with loving care?

Do Germans have gushing words to say to their gas-guzzlers?

Not as much as us I suspect.

I have never ever considered giving a car I have owned a name. And I have never spoken to one - unless of course you count the numerous times when choice swear words have been directed at deliberately awkward beasts which have sullenly refused to start or taken umbrage and stopped for no reason at all in the most inconvenient place possible.

I ask you, what can you do with them?

Something close to my heart, and even closer to my neck, is the gentleman's tie.

I grew up with them and they are an essential part of my personality.

One person at work used to call me Nice Tie Man which I took as a compliment.

It used to be that just about every man in employment wore a tie as a matter of course.

That tradition seems to be much relaxed these days but still many keep it up.

But that may be about to change drastically after a report this week from the British Medical Association that ties are "functionless", giving no warmth, not covering up anything that needs covering up and always ending up covered in annoying stains.

Worse still, they are "germ factories" and doctors have been urged to ditch them in a bid to stop the spread of bugs such as MRSA.

It's certainly going to make me think as I stand in front of the mirror on a morning fashioning a half Windsor.

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