Thousands of news outlets are publishing extracts from or stories about the now-infamous cosy little chat at the G8 summit between Tony Blair and George Bush. Blogs, message boards and so on are no different. Something that struck me, though, was the slight differences between the various transcripts that were posted on major news sites.

To illustrate this, I’ve compiled a side-by-side analysis based on the transcripts from MSNBC, the (London) Independent, BBC News and the Washington Post (all links are to the transcripts). Each transcript is ‘as published’ except that commentary etc has been excluded, and the text divided up into sections for easier reading. The BBC transcript starts later than the rest. I’ve only reproduced the sections with both Bush and Blair; some publishers also included the chit-chat between Bush and various others before the immortal “Yo, Blair” was uttered.

This little joust of mine doesn’t give any more political information, although it does fill in gaps (e.g. most transcribers failed to catch Blair’s joke that he knitted the also now infamous sweater gift that Bush received), and also underline the difficultly of transcribing a muffled conversation!

In any event, if you are seeking further information on the Special Relationship (TM), please go here or here. And if you have a taste for silly lipsynched videos after those two, then I highly recommend this (Bush only). All of these have been floating on the Web for some time but they bring a certain sillyness to the analysis of this week’s muffled conversations. Handy, eh?