[Ads-l] Idle curiosity

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 12 16:50:09 UTC 2015


> On Jul 12, 2015, at 12:09 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Clutch as an adjective in the context of sports is new??
> 
> DanG

Seems like it's been generalized, though.  AHD has this for "clutch, adj.":

adj. 
Informal
1. Being or occurring in a tense or critical situation: won the championship by sinking a clutch putt.
2. Tending to be successful in tense or critical situations: The coach relied on her clutch pitcher.

I'm familiar with that use, which curiously the draft addition (Dec. 2013) for the OED "clutch, n." entry--

'Of a player: reliable or successful in a situation when the outcome of a game or competition is at stake; (also) designating a critical moment in a game; designating (good) play at such a moment.'

--doesn't specify as an adjective.  While most of the cites at that entry (or in the related entry for "clutch hitter") can also be taken to be modifying nouns in a nominal compound, 

1929   Frederick (Maryland) Post 26 Mar. 3/6   Marty is one of the best ‘clutch’ batters in the league. His average is never very high but he always comes through with his hits when they are most needed.
1940   Princeton Alumni Weekly 30 Sept. 18/3   Captain Dan Carmichael proved himself to be a good clutch player in the Harvard contest..and the Tigers were able to pull the game out of the fire with a desperate rally.
1960   Los Angeles Times 15 Feb. c2/3 (headline)    Clutch play by Cranston wins title.
1971   Daily Republic (Mitchell, S. Dakota) 3 Feb. 15/1   The Jacks and Indians battled on nearly even terms..until some clutch free throw shooting in the closing moments by Rod Heinrich, Dave Thomas and Paul Parker put the game away.
1994   T. Boswell Cracking Show v. i. 81   He won't expand his strike zone in clutch situations to help the team.

another is clearly adjectival, 

2012   R. W. Cohen 50 Greatest Players N.Y. Yankees Hist. xxiv. 128   He had that swing and that heart, he was just totally clutch.

and I've heard this ("X is really clutch", "How clutch is Y!?",  etc.) a lot in sports contexts too. But in any case, none of these extends in an obvious way to the case in question (to modify ESPN's app), unless the implication is that it works well in the clutch, presumably unlike other apps that chokes up when the pressure is on.


LH


> 
> On Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 8:26 AM, Arnold Zwicky <arnold.zwicky at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <arnold.zwicky at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Idle curiosity
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>>> On Jul 12, 2015, at 5:17 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM> =
>> wrote:
>>> =20
>>> Just wondering if anyone has anything interesting to say about these =
>> words:
>>> =20
>>> Doxx (v.)/-ed/-ing
>>> Clutch (adj.?) As in "Watch ESPN [app] is pretty clutch." (Taken from
>>> actual ESPN Radio commercial.)
>>> Spend (n.) As in "You can monitor your company's spend [via
>> app].=E2=80=9D=
>> 
>> 
>> =E2=80=9Cclutch=E2=80=9D is new to me.
>> 
>> on =E2=80=9Cdoxx=E2=80=9D, on my blog:
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__arnoldzwicky.org_2014_10_26_doxxing_&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=vwbMa-4SoQ5TS4WsxPcMrT8qAJNZUxLTWZTkviCyVk8&s=UZNf8iNCi5rBmni4syar0j_FyqC0IS0x7TvPMOgCm_w&e= 
>> 
>> on the nouning =E2=80=9Cspend=E2=80=9D, on my blog:
>> =
>> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com_2012_08_23_annals-2Dof-2Dnouning-2Dand-2Dpeeving-3D&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=vwbMa-4SoQ5TS4WsxPcMrT8qAJNZUxLTWZTkviCyVk8&s=hP4HQXQjpXitvAMoN33l6vNreoubdOO_THsEf7PvP_Y&e= 
>> /
>> 
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>> 
> 
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