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Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Oct 24 15:54:59 UTC 2002

Jim L posted:

Going into the last lap, Jones leads by two lengths.

Going into the last length, Jones leads by two laps.

        - Jim Landau (somewhat out of the swim of things)

I would say that in the first sentence, "length" means 'body length' in this
(swimming) context (as it would in horse racing, too, btw).

The 2nd sentence does not seem logical to me, but then to me "length" never
means 'lap', per my idiolect and personal experience.

I am an avid NON-swimmer, but my 3 children all swam for many years -- YMCA,
US Swimming, high school, one in college.  MANY, many meets attended,
officiated at, scored for, talked about, for many years.  And, my ex-wife
was/is a swim coach, and a Masters swimmer, for over 20 years.  I would say
that I know more about swimming and swimming lingo than anyone who never
goes in the water.

Frank Abate

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