victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 4 22:20:29 UTC 2011

> Some random observations from ESPN coverage (printed):

1. "steroidal":

Kellen Moore won't put up the steroidal numbers that would give him a boost
> in the Heisman race. And with TCU's loss on Friday night, the spotlight has
> momentarily dimmed on the Broncos' schedule.

2. "sooner than later":

There was this story breaking about Oklahoma zeroing in on leaving the Big
> 12 for the Pac-12, and the Sooners might be doing it sooner than later.

3. "to roll"??

The Tigers still pulled off their fourth comeback from a double-digit
> deficit in the last 13 games -- and allowed hundreds of celebrating fans to
> head to Toomer's Corner to roll the once-stately, now sickly oak trees that
> were allegedly poisoned by an Alabama fan.

4. That ... that:

"That's kind of been instilled in this group that you never look at the
> clock and the scoreboard until it says zero-zero-zero."

 5. "cupcake" not in OED:

"We were wrong for thinking coming in that they might be a cupcake team and
> they really ran it down our throat the first half," he said.

Well, "cup-cake" in the literal sense is in the OED, but no figurative
assignment is given.

6. "Three-and-out" not in any dictionary--only in Wikipedia ( )

Georgia was called for three penalties on its first possession, then went
> three-and-out on its second.

7. Utterly unrelated to ESPN. OED has under possession 1.f.,

f. colloq. (orig. U.S.). The offence of possessing drugs or other illegal
> substances.

In current use, it can also refer to gun possession as a criminal offence.
"Possession of stolen property", on the other hand, is usually spelled out,
as is "possession of burglary tools" or similar.

8. Another one unrelated to ESPN. OED entry for neutral adj. B.I. 3.b.
includes two unrelated uses:

3. Not belonging to, associated with, or favouring any party or side.
>  b. In a game, meeting, encounter, etc.

1775    C. Jones Hoyle's Games Impr. 205   Billiards.‥ Carambole, is played
> with three balls, one being red which is neutral.
> ...
> 1992    Today (BNC) Dec.,   The FA‥will either confirm the result or‥order
> another match, possibly on a neutral ground and behind closed doors.

This may be splitting hairs, but the former is neutral because it can be
used by either side in the course of the game. The latter is being neutral
because it is not a partial or "home" site. "Neutral corner" in a boxing
ring is a bit more difficult to separate out. In any case, a "neutral
arbiter/referee" (also in law) does not sound to me to have the same meaning
of "neutral" as a "neutral site/ground/field/location".

Both 7. and 8. were, however, inspired by mention of "possession" and
"neutral-site" (adj.--not in OED on its own) in ESPN coverage.

Georgia was called for three penalties on its first possession, then went
> three-and-out on its second.

 That huge play roused a red-clad crowd that left little doubt this was no
> neutral-site game.


The American Dialect Society -

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