Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 16 19:05:40 UTC 2009

Not having heard this, I didn't know Larry's asterisks meant the
*speaker* had stressed "delible"-- I thought it was his way of
marking the word.  That supports his analysis.  But I can see a
literate sports journalist -- the late Howard Cossell? -- calling
attention to the opposition of physical vs. psychological scarring --
to the quarterback who becomes jumpy about weighty blitzing defensive
players.  And not meaning evanescence of the physical mark.


At 11/16/2009 09:56 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 1:15 AM -0500 11/16/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>At 11/15/2009 10:58 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> From one of the CBS announcers of today's Jets-Jaguars football game,
>>>after Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez is sacked in the first quarter
>>>and goes down hard:
>>>"Those type of hits leave an indelible--and sometimes a *delible* mark."
>>>Evident a delible mark is like an indelible one only more so.
>>I wonder if he meant a mental, subconscious imprint -- one that a
>>quarterback, particularly a rookie, as Sanchez is, will long remember
>>-- in contrast to the physical, visible mark.
>>Of course we all know that's not quite what "delible" means -- viz.
>>OED.  Unless the speaker had in mind that the remembrance and
>>associated anxiety would fade eventually.
>I don't think so--it seemed clear that he (Dan Fouts, former QB
>himself) regarded "delible" as a higher-scale item than "indelible".
>If he'd said "...but sometimes it's a delible mark" or "but maybe
>(just) a delible one", I'd guess the evanescent reading.  But with
>the "and" and the stress on "delible", that reading is unlikely.  (I
>noticed the "those type of hits" too--not that it's quirky, I
>probably say it myself, it's just one of those situations when
>speakers never quite know what to do about the plural, agreement,
>etc.:  that type of hits?  those type of hits?  that type of hit?)
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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