[Ads-l] Take a knee

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Sat Dec 23 10:44:49 EST 2017

On 12/23/17 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date:    Fri, 22 Dec 2017 21:45:22 -0200
> From:    David Daniel<dad at COARSECOURSES.COM>
> Subject: Take a knee
> I would like to know why NFL players are "taking a knee" all over the media
> instead of "kneeling." I mean, "take is knee" is like: Guy walks into a
> prosthetics shop. The salesman comes over and says, "Welcome, take a seat."
> Guy says, "Already got one, thanks, but I'll take a knee."

 From my soccer mom experience:

When a kid is injured on the field and the coaches and refs want to halt 
the action, the ref will blow a whistle and the coaches will shout "take 
a knee!" and the players will go down on one knee (in effect making the 
kids stay in one place so that all attention can be directed to the 
injured player).

"Kneeling" can be ambiguous: It can refer to being on both knees. "Take 
a knee" is clear: have one knee down on the ground, and the other bent 
at 90 degrees so that foot is on the ground. Also, there would be 
overtones to shouting "kneel!" as opposed to "take a knee."

So, I think "take a knee" has been extended from that usage because of 
ambiguity and connotations of "kneel".

---Amy West

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

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