"track record"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Nov 18 16:57:21 UTC 2010

On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 10:50 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> Then there's "get untracked", as when a baseball (basketball, etc.)
> player or team in a slump "can't get untracked", which appears to
> have derived from a eggcornish reanalysis of "can't get on track" (of
> a train car).  Being "untracked" is thus a positive (cf. "finally got
> untracked"), precisely the way being on track is for the train, one
> that seems to allude to undoing a negative (as when a car or wagon in
> stuck in a track/rut).
> (Cf. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001390.html.)

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Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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