Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A legalistic, linguistic pet peeve

Words that sports announcers use incorrectly:

"Literally" - as in, "Michael Jordan can literally jump out of the building." No, I'm pretty sure that he can't do that literally. Figuratively? Maybe. Literally? Won't he bump his head on the way through the roof?

"Patented" or "Trademark" - This is the lawyer in me griping, but when an announcer referred to Syracuse's "patented" zone or Sekou Smith described the Hawks' "trademark" valiant efforts in today's paper, it drives me nuts. Jim Boeheim didn't invent the concept of a zone defense and I'm pretty sure that he didn't show up on the doorstep of a patent office with diagrams of his 2-3 so no other caoch could use it. Similarly, the Hawks' effotrs are not distinctive to them, unless Sekou thinks that the Hawks are the only team in the NBA that plays hard (and if that's the case, then G-d have mercy on all of their souls.)

I'd rather announcers continue to butcher the English language with made-up words like "sticktoitiveness" than screw up existing words when there are perfectly readable dictionaries that would teach them the error of their ways.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorites is: "This place is literally upside down." Whenever I hear that it makes my head explode. Figuratively, of course.

Anonymous said...

Mom'f favorite (which she has pointed out at least the number of times equal to the cans of pringles I have eaten)

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