More weird sportscasterese

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Apr 21 22:47:03 UTC 2002

In a message dated 04/21/2002 5:54:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET writes:

> It is the very common usage, esp. in basketball announcing (where the score
>  can change so quickly), "within", as in "they have now got it to within
>  (i.e., if the score is, say, 57-56).  Clearly, the score cannot be "within
>  one".  Yet announcers, even those as experienced as Dick Enberg, use this
>  often.  The usage can be with differences in score of more than one point,
>  but it seems always to be used when the difference is actually the number
>  points stated after "within".  The usage is illogical, it seems to me, but
>  it is out there.

I don't see it as illogical, merely an ellipsis: "within n points of being
tied" or "within n points of getting into the lead".

       - James A. Landau

How many Dutch speak High Dutch?

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