FW: Query: Was a gold ball really thrown out to start season?

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Jun 28 20:14:53 UTC 2002

What Ron says below made me think of the heads of golf clubs, once made of
wood, now (in the last decade or so) made of metal.  They're called metal
woods generically, but one still speaks of a 3-wood or a fairway wood,
despite the metal content.

Frank Abate

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of RonButters at AOL.COM
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: Query: Was a gold ball really thrown out to start season?

In a message dated 6/28/2002 2:58:06 AM, douglas at NB.NET writes:

<<What exactly is meant by a gold ball? It's not likely to have been
> solid gold. >>

Well, gee, I think a solid gold baseball would be a little impractical, even
in California. I recall that the "mean pin-ball" that "that deaf, dumb, and
blind kid" played in the musical TOMMY were characterized as "silver ball,"
even though they were no doubt steel--I think it is quite common in English
to use the terms "silver" and "gold" to describe the color of objects,
without any necessary implication that the objects referred to are actually
made of the rare metal--or indeed, metal at all.

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