ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Mon May 10 17:41:41 UTC 2010

I didn't understand the problem at first because it seemed perfectly natural to me to interprethis as meaning 'left side of his groin'.  I'm not sure why this is so easy for me, but  "left head" and "left butt" elicit the same (Gricean?) response.
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-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
Date:         Mon, 10 May 2010 12:07:41
Subject:      Re: [ADS-L] groin

An inveterate jock and sports fan myself, I would never refer to a ruptured testicle as a "groin injury." (I wouldn't even dare think about one of those!) A groin injury is a pulled muscle in the area of a man's (or, I suppose, a woman's) sole groin.  The question was whether it's idiomatic to speak of a person's having TWO groins (left and right).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 10:31:59 -0400
>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf of Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>)>
>On 5/10/10 10:20 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:
>> In the sports section of yesterday's newspaper, an Atlanta Braves outfielder was said to be suffering from an injury to his "left groin." The phrasing immediately moved me to wonder, "How many does his have?" I certainly would have said the "left side of his groin."
>> Evidently, however (judging from the OED attestations of the noun), in the 16th century and earlier one could have multiple groins . . . .
>In sports-injury-speak, a groin injury is an injury to a lower-abdominal
>muscle or tendon, so the left or right business would refer to which
>side of the pelvis the injured muscle attaches to. (/anatomical handwaving)
>What lay observers like us would normally think of as a groin injury is,
>instead, referred to more descriptively as "a (nearly-)ruptured
>testicle". See
>for current examples.
>Alice Faber                                    faber at
>Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
>New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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