and look you mock him not

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 19 16:27:23 UTC 2007

Michael H Covarrubias wrote:
> I know enough about football to watch a game with interest.  Not enough to talk
> about statistics trades and drafts.  This might explain my confusion when I
> read the following Yahoo! headline for a John Murphy story on the players
> entering April's NFL draft.
> "Accelerating to Mock 1"
> It looked too obvious to be a misspelling.  And if in fact was supposed to be
> "Mach" the headline would have nothing to do with football.  The article does
> mention this coming weekend's Shrine Game.
> Is "mock" conventionally used to mean such an exhibition as the game where new
> players are given the chance to show their skills?  Such a specific intention
> is not likely to make it into many dictionaries, but the OED does list one
> definition: "Designating an examination set by a school, etc., which is
> intended to give students practice for a particular public examination."

The most common use of "mock" in such a context is in the phrase "mock
draft". Commentators take the order in which teams will draft,
determined by their standing the previous season, and incorporate their
knowledge of each team's strengths and weaknesses as well of those of
the players available to be drafted. Using this information, they
predict which players will be drafted by which teams. So, all you're
dealing with is a typical headline writer's cheesy pun.

Alice Faber                                    faber at
Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963

The American Dialect Society -

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