"SPORT" [OT, was Re: neat phrases from Kent Desormeaux

David Donnell daviddonnell at NYC.RR.COM
Tue May 6 15:20:19 UTC 2008

Walking my 3 yr old daughter Leelee around McCarren Park in the
Williamsburg part of Brooklyn on Sunday...

She wanted to know what the group of people were doing on one big
field... I  explained it as best as I could: "It's called 'baseball';
the person in the middle throws the ball towards the person with the
long wooden thing, called a 'bat', and that person tries to hit the

Leelee asked, "WHY?"

I replied, "Because that's THEIR idea of a good time."

Just then we circled around to the other side, where friends & family
of the players were hanging out--talking, shouting, etc.--and Leelee
asked, "And what are THOSE PEOPLE doing?"

I replied, "WATCHING the people trying to hit the ball is THEIR idea
of a good time."

Leelee looked bewildered. (As I have been for years!)

Missourian @ NYC

>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: neat phrases from Kent Desormeaux
>Perhaps a related question: Horse racing is considered a SPORT (it's
>written about in the sports pages of newspapers); but which is the
>ATHLETE--the horse, the jockey, the owner?
>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 06:19:56 -0700
>>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>>I've watched Animal Planet for so long that this usage seems
>>perfectly ordinary.  Furthermore, the "tragic" part might apply
>>more to the owners of the horse than to the horse itself.
>>   But be that as it may.  Eveybody under the age of 115 should know
>>by now what my freshmen knew thirty years ago (Ow! There goes that
>>durned lumbago agin!), that a "tragedy" is just something that's
>>very, very sad.   Like you go, "Oh, no! That really sucks!"
>>   JL
>>Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>Amen, Charlie.
>>On Mon, May 5, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>>  Speaking of the Kentucky Derby: In the media chatter (oral and
>>>printed), the word "tragic" has undergone a further degradation of
>>>meaning. It is now a TRAGEDY when a horse gets injured and
>>>dies--presumably making the brute a tragic figure?
>>>  --Charlie
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