[Ads-l] Olympics-related WOTY?

Yagoda, Ben byagoda at UDEL.EDU
Mon Aug 15 19:03:28 UTC 2016

The link to Barry’s post got cut off. It’s http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/goat_greatest_of_all_time/

I think there’s no connection between the traditional athletic goat and the acronymic G.O.A.T., except maybe a slight ironical frisson to the acronym.


On Aug 15, 2016, at 2:43 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>> wrote:

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Subject:      Re: Olympics-related WOTY?

The Grammarphobia notes that goat has been used negatively in sports
"as a derisive term for a player responsible for a team=E2=80=99s 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, app=
lied exclusively to Mohammed Ali. According to the Grammarphobia blog<http:=
//www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2016/07/goat.html>  Ali=E2=80=99s 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 =E2=80=9CG.O.A.T. (Greatest =
of All Time)," and in recent years the appellation has frequently  been use=
d in reference to Michael Jordan.

But it has exploded during the current Olympics. A Google News search<htt=
=3Dqdr:m,sbd:1&tbm=3Dnws&start=3D40> shows that the GOAT tag has been appli=
ed to the celebrated Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Usain=
Bolt, but also to the more obscure Kohei Uchimura (men=E2=80=99s gymnastic=
s), Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba (women=E2=80=99s 10,000 meters), Kenya=E2=80=
=99s Ezekiel Kemboi (men=E2=80=99s steeplechase), and American cyclist Kris=
ten Armstrong.


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