Tag Archives: Sports Announcers

Soccer fan have lost his mind

It’s that time of year again. No, not the time when you consider a trip to a nude beach to get a tan in THAT spot. This is the time of the year when some normally rational people start saying things like “I think I’ll flip on the tele and see how the Ukraine midfielders are handling that Swedish attack on the pitch.”

Before you jump through your computer screen to punch me in the face, let me say this: I am not a real person, and your screen is made of glass, so that might hurt.

Yes, seemingly once every summer, the thoughts of young men without dates turn to the foreign sport of soccer. Or should I say the American sport of soccer, and the foreign sport of “O-LAY-olay-olay-olay…O-lay, o-lay,” sometimes also called futbol by people who don’t know how to spell.

The Irish keeper prepares for action in the Euro Championship, hoping to make at least one save during the tournament.

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Linguistic Gymnastics: Sports Lingo for the Grammatically Impaired

People who don’t want to learn grammar or spelling like to say that languages grow and change with common usage. These people are called linguistic descriptivists. At least for now. Next week they’ll likely want to be called “flowerpot lemon drops” and they’ll petition the Oxford English Dictionary to add that definition to its next edition. Eventually the OED will just throw its hand up in the air and say, “Sure, just go ahead and say whatever you want. We’ll know what you mean.”

Sports commentators in particular are on the cutting edge of linguistic evolution, in that they like to use words that really do exist but in ways that have nothing to do with their actual definitions. Here are a few terms or phrases with special definitions in the sports world:

Physicality: The term physicality has been around since the 16th century. It originally meant “the state or quality of being physical” (as opposed to made-up or spiritual or whatever). It does not (or at least did not) mean “the state or quality of being a super-duper tough guy,” which is what it seems sports announcers think they’re saying when the use it now. So when a sports announcer says that an athlete is playing with physicality, they’re likely accurate, because they’re almost certainly talking about someone who actually exists in the physical realm. They’re just not saying what they think they’re saying.

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