[Ads-l] "unforced error"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 2 11:02:19 EDT 2016


I doubt that the "political blunder" sense goes back three decades.

If you aren't a T---- supporter, Lynch made an "unforced error" when
she met with Clinton in her plane.


JL

On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 7:41 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I doubt it was just "made up". I recall newspaper reports of tennis matches
> listing first only aces and double faults, then, in the late 1980s, adding
> service winners, winners and unforced errors. IIRC, service winner was a
> serve returned long or into the net. Winners were counted as overhead slams
> and lob shots -- basically, a set shot. And unforced error was a simple
> volley (not a "winner") that was returned long or into the net or a set
> shot that was mishit.
>
> While the term had been in use much longer, the specific change in
> quantitative reporting style might have been what prompted the recollection.
>
> VS-)
>
> On Sat, Jul 2, 2016, 1:58 AM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: "unforced error"
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:14 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
>> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > The 2013 article in "The New York Times" suggested a provenance via
>> > "introduction in tennis three decades ago", i.e., circa 1983.
>> >
>>
>> The writer probably just made that up, based on when he personally first
>> heard it, a la contributors to the UD.
>>
>>
>> --
>> -Wilson
>> -----
>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>> -Mark Twain
>>
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>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
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