infamous = 'talked-about; popular'

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Feb 20 16:08:30 UTC 2013

According to the transcript, anchor John Berman said, "Teaming up with
the leader of the free world, Tiger Woods gushing about the president
as a golf partner." No ringleader. But you got the quote from sports
reporter Joe Carter right: "Tiger gave up details yesterday about his
infamous round with the president saying the commander in chief can
chip, he can putt; he also has amazing touch."

It's possible that what made the round of golf "infamous" in Carter's
eyes was that the White House press corps had complained about not
getting to see it:

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> We're talking the lamestream info-edutainment viewpoint.  No feature
> reporter would ever express a negative judgment of anything legal and
> intrinsically harmless done for fun by a pair of top celebs.
> The journo's tone of voice was entirely enthusiastic as Tiger went on to
> explain the thrill of golfing with the Prez.
> Possibly I am in error, but as I switched on the TV I thought I heard
> someone describe the President quite neutrally as "the ringleader of the
> free world."
> Not a reliable attestation. Just a warning.
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 9:11 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> >
> > At 2/20/2013 06:58 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > >CNN mentions "The President's infamous round of golf with Tiger Woods."
> > >
> > >The only meaning I can extract is "well reported,esp. if diverting."
> >
> > Depends on your opinion of Tiger Woods.  I would extract "disgraceful
> > social occasion with a dishonored multiple adulterer."  Woods is
> > infamous; the President becomes so also.

Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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