[Ads-l] Olympics-related WOTY?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 15 18:43:34 UTC 2016

The Grammarphobia notes that goat has been used negatively in sports
"as a derisive term for a player responsible for a team’s loss".
Grammarphobia provides an excellent citation via The Dickson Baseball
Dictionary (3rd ed.), by Paul Dickson. The citation is dated October
10, 1909. Here is an instance from a few months earlier:

Date: April 24, 1909
Newspaper: Denver Post
Newspaper Location: Denver, Colorado
Quote Page 7, Column 4

[Begin excerpt]
It was all a question of luck, which broke the wrong way, as it
sometimes will. The Sox inserted their bad breaks in the wrong places,
and it is with grief we announce the blowing up of Pilot Bill. He was
the goat all right and is in position to cuss himself good and plenty.
If Bill had not included that cloud-rasping throw in the eighth the
champions would not have been able to tie on Doc's wild pitch in the
[End excerpt]

Barry Popik's website has an entry for the positive use of G.O.A.T.
G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time)


On Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 11:02 AM, Yagoda, Ben <byagoda at udel.edu> wrote:
> The acronym GOAT, meaning greatest of all time, was, for a long time, applied exclusively to Mohammed Ali. According to the Grammarphobia blog<http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2016/07/goat.html>  Ali’s wife, Lonnie, incorporated Greatest of All Time, Inc. (G.O.A.T. Inc.) in 1992. In 2000, the rapper LL Cool J released an album called “G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)," and in recent years the appellation has frequently  been used in reference to Michael Jordan.
> But it has exploded during the current Olympics. A Google News search<https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=%22greatest+of+all+time%22&oq=%22greatest+of+all+time%22&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i53.2925.6876.0.8515.,sbd:1&tbm=nws&start=40> shows that the GOAT tag has been applied to the celebrated Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Usain Bolt, but also to the more obscure Kohei Uchimura (men’s gymnastics), Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba (women’s 10,000 meters), Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi (men’s steeplechase), and American cyclist Kristen Armstrong.
> Ben
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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