Monday, February 06, 2006

He's got your cornerback

Still scratching your head over some of the Super Bowl terminology you heard (or, more likely, slept through) last night? William Safire has your back.

And he includes a bonus grammatical gripe:
Announcers and analysts tossing around the jargon should beware the press coverage of the Nitpickers League. When players of one team trail by one field goal, they will be said to be "within three points of a tie." Patrick Sullivan of The Lakeville Journal of Connecticut writes: "No. If they were within three, they'd be behind by two." That grammarian has found his point of attack.
I hear this in basketball a lot more than in football, and it drives me to drink (or maybe that's just the excitement of the game): "Braeuer makes a free throw to pull the Shockers to within two." They're always talking about being two points away from a tie; it's ridiculous.

4 Comments:

At 1:31 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous DLo said...

First, it's Braeuer ... but that's not your point. Your point about within is one of my big complaints. It drives me nuts when reporters do it, and I change it all the time. I think the reason they do it, though, is because it's quick. Instead of saying "The Shockers cut SIU's lead to 59-56," they say they "pulled within 59-56." Still not right, though.

 
At 1:42 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Nicole said...

Thanks, Dan. I fixed the Braeuer typo.

And your examples are perfect, much worse than the one I gave but just as prevalent.

Then again, having to listen to Adam Kennedy for all my Shockers games makes things even worse. Ugh.

But I will get to watch my first Shocker game in person in a couple of weeks. I'll be at the Bracket Busters game May 18.

 
At 5:22 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous DLo said...

I went to Saturday's game. While not a fan of the team, I appreciate what they are accomplishing and I enjoyed myself. Great atmosphere.

 
At 5:29 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger CA McGee said...

On a related note, one thing I hear constantly in basketball commentary is announcers referring to teams being up or down "by a touchdown" -- what they invariably mean is that the team in question is leading or trailing by seven points.

However, a touchdown in football is only worth six points. Though it's generally followed by a PAT kick, which accounts for the seventh point, teams can opt for a two-point conversion instead.

It's a minor point, but the inaccuracy drives me nuts.

 

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