"shot put(ted)" again

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Dec 5 16:02:14 UTC 2006

Yes, that was a remarkable blunder (and an exciting game!).

And Johnson DIDN'T "put" his helmet; as Larry said, he TOSSED it!  You might think a professional sportscaster would have a better command of both the terminology of athletic activities and the terms' pronunciation.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 10:35:41 -0500
>From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Subject: "shot put(ted)" again

>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 [^] verbs.

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

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