# Tiger Woods: oscilated

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 16 18:55:14 UTC 2013

```It was oscillation, I know
Standing there alone with the breezes above
Then the ball was touched
And next moment it shifted
Oscillation turned to…a two-stroke penalty.

LH

On Sep 16, 2013, at 2:21 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> Seems to be based on some combination of golfers' naive science and
> urban legend. Either the ball moves or it doesn't. If it's moved by the
> wind, it's not caused by the player, so there is no need to replace the
> ball in its original position and there's no penalty. If it's caused by
> a player or some outside force (with wind specifically excluded by the
> rules), then the ball is replaced, with or without penalty. It seems
> "oscillation" is an attempt to pretend to that the ball did not move,
> but also encompassing the ball's wavering in the wind without changing
> position. I suppose, this "wavering in the wind" may qualify under
> ordinary definitions of "oscillat--" but even this is a stretch as the
> ball does not actually vibrate. And any other applications of
> "oscillat--" in this context do not qualify, as there is no repeated
> motion in some instances and no fluctuation between multiple fixed
> alternative positions. Golfers, like baseball players, are notorious for
> making up naive physics of the ball, so the use of "oscillat--" does not
> surprise me. Still, the meaning is not listed in dictionaries, which was
> the point of the original post. As Wilson says, YMMV
>
>    VS-)
>
> On 9/15/2013 11:42 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>> Oscillation is the phenomenon of a dimpled golf ball on the soft ground
>> seeming to shift weight,  often in response to wind, as if to begin a roll,
>> but not beginning to actually roll. In theory, there is a bottom dimple; if
>> the bottom dimple changes, the ball is considered to have moved. If the
>> ball returns to rest in the same location on the original bottom dimple, it
>> merely oscillated, but did not move.
>>
>> DanG
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

```

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