OK, I’ll admit it ... like William Safire & Justice Scalia, I’m a full-fledged “SNOOT” (an acronym for “SYNTAX NUDNICKS OF OUR TIME”) !!! I have long been the guy who corrected commentators on TV for misuse & mispronunciation of the words they use to describe what they are reporting on ...
What does this have to do with sports ??? Plenty !!!
One of my pet peeves is that no one seems to care that Sports-Casters, Analysts, & Colour Commentators constantly butcher the English language just about every chance they get ... here are some of the utterances that make me the craziest:
Quite often you will hear Tennis commentators from John McEnroe to just about everyone else refer in a complimentary manner to a player who has increased their fitness level by say that he/she is “FITTER” than before !!! WRONG !!! The proper terminology is “MORE FIT” ... A “FITTER” is someone who fits pipes !!!
“A LACK OF CONDITIONING ...”
OK, so a tennis player is in a five (5) set match in a Major like Australia in January, or the US Open in August ... the temperatures are in the high 90’s and humidity is stifling ... the player cramps up and it’s a “A LACK OF CONDITIONING” ??? People are dropping like flies in the stands simply sitting on their butts but the players who have sweat thru half a dozen shirts and are routinely in need of IV fluids after the game, are not able to do something to remediate their cramping ??? What rocket scientist came up with this one ???
“I PLAYED REAL GOOD ...”
You’ve heard this plenty but it most often happens when a golfer finds a microphone shoved in his face and is asked how he played that particular day ... and he retorts “I PLAYED REAL GOOD” ... WRONG !!! The proper terminology is “I PLAYED WELL” or “I PLAYED VERY WELL” ... the fact that he played is “real” but is not an intensifier to describe how well or poorly he played !!!
“HONESTLY ... ”
Why do Commentators think they have to add this word ??? By doing so, the connotation is that everything else he/she has said has been less than honest, or maybe a confabulation !!!
OK, the blame lays firmly @ the feet of now-retired Kenny Venturi, who I called the “master of the obvious” !!! Why is it so important to call a Fair-Way Wood a “FAIRWAY METAL” ... Irons are not made solely of iron, and Drivers are made of a whole array of materials, but we don’t call Irons by another name, nor Drivers by another name ... It’s simply ridiculous ... and unnecessary !!!
“__________ OF THE BALL”
So if a golfer is a good ball striker why not say that ... instead of “STRIKER OF THE BALL” ... or if he/she is a good putter why not say that instead of “PUTTER OF THE BALL” ??? It’s simply wrong to grope for a new way of saying something when the simple way is still the best !!! Remember the first rule of public speaking my friends, “KISS” - Keep it Simple, Stupid !!!