reversal or just muddle?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 10 00:05:55 UTC 2013

Here's a sentence from an ESPN report on the Kentucky-Florida basketball
game that Kentucky won. The context is that Kentucky has had a mediocre
season and there was some speculation that they may not be selected for
the NCAA Tournament and would have to win the conference tournament to
qualify. The rest of the piece appears to suggest that this is no longer
the case and all that UK needs to do is perhaps win its first game in
the conference tournament. Then you get to this point:
> Kentucky's win ended a two-game losing streak and increased the
> prospect that the Wildcats needed to win the SEC tournament in
> Nashville to secure a bid.

The choice of "increased the prospect" is what makes it interesting.
"Decrease the prospect" doesn't make sense to me--would not be a
legitimate expression for me. Perhaps "reduce the prospect". But this is
a "prospect" of a speculative negative outcome, so the whole "prospect"
theme would not make sense. An alternative would be something like "the
win reduced the pressure on the UK team to win the SEC tournament to
qualify, as they will likely qualify on lesser accomplishments". But
that's a complete rewrite of what's there, not merely a correction.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list