Tiger Woods: oscilated

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 16 21:49:48 UTC 2013

Oscillation is also common in a stiff Scottish breeze. I know; I have seen


On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM, David A. Daniel <dad at pokerwiz.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "David A. Daniel" <dad at POKERWIZ.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Tiger Woods: oscilated
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> An oscillating golf tends to happen when you are clearing loose debris -
> leaves and sticks and little rocks and such - from around your ball. You
> pick up a twig, accidentally giving the ball a little nudge, it wiggles,
> and
> just as you think you've cost yourself two strokes, its insufficient
> momentum causes it to come back to rest where it was. That ball is said to
> have oscillated in golf terms. If this meaning is not in OED and other
> dictionaries, but is in current use by, say, 500 million golfers, and has
> been for, say, a couple hundred years, then perhaps it should be suggested
> for inclusion. Or, we could be officiously prescriptivist, in which case we
> could send out 500 million letters and tell all the golfers of the world
> that they have to start saying "wiggle". To add a little strength to our
> argument, perhaps we could write to Stephen Hawking and ask him to endorse
> the concept that oscillating golf balls are an affront to physics.
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Tiger Woods: oscilated
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---
> 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
> >
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