[Ads-l] bobble/bauble

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Oct 3 14:47:57 UTC 2017

> On Oct 3, 2017, at 10:03 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>>> On Oct 3, 2017, at 1:17 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> I suppose the "cot"/"caught" merger is to blame for the appearance of
>>> "bauble" here (three times!)...
>>> ---
>>> https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/the-error-
>> in-baseball-and-the-moral-dimension-to-american-life
>>> In practice, “ordinary effort” describes, as Bill James wrote, what
>> should
>>> have happened. What should have happened in a piece of fielding can have
>>> nothing to do with the play of the fielder. Utter offered me a case: The
>>> runner hits the ball into the outfield, the fielder baubles the ball, and
>>> the runner advances to second. Is that an error? It depends. “What we
>> would
>>> have to look at is—is it a single or is it a double? Or is it a single
>> and
>>> advance on an error or on the throw?” The way that the scorer determines
>>> whether that bauble is an error or not has less to do with the action of
>>> the fielder than with the action of the runner. “Was the runner going all
>>> the time? Did he never think about stopping at first? Or was he running
>> and
>>> looking at the play and then slowed down a little bit and then took off
>>> when he saw the little bauble?” If he paused, noticed the misplay, and
>> ran
>>> to second, “That becomes the error.”
>> Nice.  I’m sure that’s what it is—in our colleague’s terms, “awe”-dropping
>> strikes again.  And here I thought a bauble becomes an error only when you
>> get cold feet before the wedding and seek to become disengaged.  Tough to
>> sort out those diamond miscues.
> The "baubles" have now been changed to "bobbles" by an unmerged editor.
> —bgz

Very sad.  I was really attached to the diamond miscue motif.  I was wondering if you get shifts in the other direction, and searching “fancy bobble” pulls up a couple, including one from _On the Wings of a Dove_, a novel not written by Henry James:

“Yes, son, three dollars is a lot of money but your Ma is worth every penny of it. Some day I hope you will find yourself a girl to love as much as I love your ma. When you do you likely will find yourself willing to spend the last penny you have in your pocket to buy her a fancy bobble just like I’m gonna do now”.

“expensive bobble” fetches a plethora of expensive bobble-head dolls.


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