[Ads-l] "unbeaten" = "once beaten"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jul 16 13:39:07 UTC 2015


Yes, I was careless in suggesting that "has won" was equivalent to "has gone unbeaten".

Thinking about this overnight, however, I realized that for me the problem in the quotation "Jamaica is unbeaten in seven of its last eight Gold Cup matches" is not with the "unbeaten" but with the "is".  "To be unbeaten", or "to go unbeaten", implies a streak, in the sense of Wikipedia's "Winning streak (sports)" -- "a consecutive number of games".

"Seven of its last eight" is not a consecutive series of (seven) matches.  The truth, for me, could be worded as "Before its defeat in the 2013 Gold Cup final, Jamaica had an unbeaten streak of four matches, and is now unbeaten in its last three matches."

Joel

      From: "Gordon, Matthew J." <GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:25 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "unbeaten" = "once beaten"
   
What I meant was that "has won," as both of you suggested, would not be accurate if the record includes a tie, which I assume it does since the reporter chose this phrasing. As you note, there are other ways of expressing this, but "Jamaica has won 7 of its last 8 Gold Cup matches" is not one of them.

________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Joel Berson [berson at ATT.NET]
Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 10:04 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: "unbeaten" = "once beaten"

If Gordon means "unbeaten in 8, one of which was a draw", that is incorrect.  Panama lost to the USA in the final of the 2013 Gold Cup, and has so far played just 3 matches this year.  (The original said "last eight _Gold Cup_ matches".)

If Gordon means "unbeaten in 7 of it last 8 Gold Cup matches, one of which was a tie," I still say an odd usage.  "Panama has won or drawn 7 of its last 8 Gold Cup matches"; or "Panama has not lost in 7 of its last 8 ..."; or "Panama has lost only 1 of its last 8 ...".

Joel

      From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
 Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 6:08 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "unbeaten" = "once beaten"

Touche'.

But my stylistic point stays valid.

JL

On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 5:46 PM, Gordon, Matthew J. <GordonMJ at missouri.edu>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:      "Gordon, Matthew J." <GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "unbeaten" = "once beaten"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I believe "unbeaten" is accurate here since their record includes a draw.
>
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of
> Jonath=
> an Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 4:40 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: "unbeaten" =3D "once beaten"
>
> "has been unbeaten" sounds rougher 'n' tougher than a wimpy "has won," or
> even "has been victorious."
>
> "Has totally kicked ass," however, will soon be preferred, .
>
> JL
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 2:51 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:      Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> > Subject:      Re: "unbeaten" =3D "once beaten"
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ------
> >
> > > On Jul 15, 2015, at 2:05 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
> > >=3D20
> > > "Jamaica is unbeaten in seven of its last eight Gold Cup matches ...".
> > >=3D20
> > > An equally undefeated team could be "unbeaten in one of its last eight
> =
> =3D
> > matches."
> > >=3D20
> > >=3D20
> > > Presumably "has won" is too simple for an AP correspondent.  [Boston =
> =3D
> > Globe, today.]
> >
> > All true, but technically, if "unbeaten" in "unbeaten in 7 of its last 8
> =
> =3D
> > Gold Cup matches" really meant "once beaten", they would be 6-2 rather =
> =3D
> > than the (I assume) intended 7-1.
> >
> > Pickily,
> > LH=3D
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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>
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--
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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



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

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


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