"shot put(ted)" again

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 5 15:35:41 UTC 2006

Last night, after showing a replay of Carolina Panthers receiver
Keyshawn Johnson tossing his helmet across the field in frustration
after a crucial pass thrown to him at the end of the game was
intercepted by a defensive back he thought had interfered with him,
SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott referred to Johnson as having
"shot-putted his helmet", with the "putt" pronounced as for the golf
stroke, i.e. as the past tense of "putt" rather than "put".  I can't
recall if this reanalysis came up in our recent discussion of putting
the shot; I assume it's motivated by the fact that golf is far better
known than track and field now, that "put" as in "shot put" is
semanticalloy pretty opaque, and that (alphabetical principle or no)
"putting" and "putted" orthographically collapse the [U] and [^]


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

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