out of context

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Tue Jan 29 15:16:24 UTC 2008

From:    "JAMES A. LANDAU Netscape. Just the Net You Need."

> An interesting little exercise:

> http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/01/27/can-hillary-lose-this-thing/
> begins “In the aftermath of Barack Obama's rout in South Carolina,”

> If these ten words were the only report you had of the Democratic
> primary in South Carolina Saturday, you would of course understand
> that the results were one-sided, but would you be able to determine
> whether Obama was the runaway winner or the routed loser?

I might be overthinking this, and i never really believe my own
introspective judgments, but i think Obama has to be the runaway winner,
given that sentence.

If Team A routs Team B, Team A has won; the way to refer to is as a noun
would be "Team A's rout". Context can overcome this, of course, but i
think the default is for the winner to be the agent.

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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

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