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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

Insensitive Communication

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 2, 2008

Here at languageandgrammar.com, one of the points that we like to make is that communication goes beyond grammar. Grammar is important, of course, and we’ve written many posts about it (and will continue to do so), but it’s also important to understand how and why we say the things that we do–and how they will be received by the listener.

Many of the things we say might be poor communication for myriad reasons, including being insincere to inarticulate to too informal to too trendy. All of those affect your communication since you, then, appear to be insincere, inarticulate, inappropriate, or overly trendy. That’s not exactly the type of image you want to foster, now, is it?

Some of the things we say might also be too insensitive to others, and here’s just one good example (The Washington Redskins and Political Correctness).

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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Brain ISSUE? Sounds Like a PROBLEM to Me!

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 2, 2008

In the Buffalo/Jets game on Sunday, quarterback Trent Edwards took a hard tackle and was knocked to the ground, where he hit every part of his body, including his head. He didn’t leave the game, but the announcers were concerned that he might since, they informed us, Edwards had had concussion issues in the past. Concussion ISSUES? This is a perfect example of what issue does not mean and how not to use it.

The quarterback had had concussion injuries, concussion problems, or, plainly, concussions in the past. I doubt he would appreciate having his brain injury labeled an issue. An issue, as we’ve discussed before, is a topic, as in Where do the candidates stand on the issues or We have myriad issues to discuss at the meeting tonight.

Don’t refer to someone’s brain injury as an issue. It’s disrespectful——and grammatically incorrect.

Sherry

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A Buck Ten Left in the Game

Posted by languageandgrammar on October 13, 2008

Oy. I don’t know if any trendy announcer-speak is more annoying than the tendency for announcers to start referring to the time left in a game in terms of money, such as There’s a buck ten left in the game. They only seem to do it when there is less than two minutes left in the game (or the first half); it’s always a buck something left (sometimes they even say a buck and change left), but with inflation, it’s likely to spread to two, three, or 10 minutes left soon.

I’ve been trying to decide why I find this so annoying, and I think it’s mainly because it’s just a ridiculous thing to say. It doesn’t make sense. I would never tell someone that I have a doctor’s appointment in five bucks rather than in five minutes because that would obviously be incredibly stupid, but once the clock ticks down to under two minutes in a football game, time and money become the same unit.

I know that they don’t literally mean money instead of time; they’re just following a trend that someone started a few years ago. And I want a name–I need to send a letter of complaint or something. It was probably Joe Time, I mean Joe Buck.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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Manage the Game

Posted by languageandgrammar on October 6, 2008

I’ve been a professional sports fan for a very long time, but it’s only been during the last couple of years that quarterbacks have started to manage the game. I’m not sure why this trend of talking about a quarterback in terms of game management, rather than performance, started, but it’s hard to sit (or stand if you prefer) through a football game without hearing the term several times.

The He manages the game well commentary seems to be reserved for an inexperienced quarterback who doesn’t have great statistics but the team manages to win anyway. I guess the expectation of the pass-heavy league is that all quarterbacks are expected to throw often and for a significant number of yards; when one doesn’t but still somehow leads his team to victory, they can’t say that He played well or even that He played well enough to win within the limited offensive game plan. The best they can spit out is that He managed the game well. The goal of the game is to win, and the quarterback is arguably the most important player, so if the team wins, give the guy some credit–especially if he’s an inexperienced player. I’ve heard the manage-the-game-well comment about J.T. O’Sullivan and Joe Flacco.

The only time that I hear the term mentioned for a premier quarterback, such as Peyton Manning or Donovan McNabb, is with the negative. He’s not managing the game well is said about these players during a poor performance. Hey, even the greats have an off-day, so just say so. Manning is not playing well; the world won’t come to an end.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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Perfect 16-0 Record

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 1, 2008

 I wrote about the redundancy of saying a perfect 16-0 record in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever (pick up a copy, will ya?), so I won’t repeat that here. Even if the redundancy were to stop being used by announcers and fans (not likely), we’d still have the problem of our obsession with the topic.

 

I would hope that when a couple of teams start the 2008-2009 NFL season with 4-0 records,  we’ll remember the lessons taught to us way back in the 2007-2008 season and not start obsessing over whether one of the teams will go 16-0. I know that was a long time ago, but if you’ll recall, fans and announcers spent an inordinate amount of time talking about whether New England would win every regular-season game. They did, but this supposedly momentous accomplishment has not been mentioned since New England lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Maybe we could remember how insignificant it seemed in the end before we start with that again this year.

 

There was almost as much obsessing going on about whether Miami would have an 0-16 record (which, to make a parallel redundancy, should be referred to as an imperfect 0-16 record) last season, which might make more sense since there’s no chance of that team ruining their flawless record in the playoffs. Regardless, I don’t remember as much attention to such trivial matters even five years ago, and I’m not sure why it’s become so important recently. My guess is that it has something to do with our need for drama.

 

All I know is that I hope that all 30 teams are 1-1 heading into week three so that we can pay attention to the games at hand rather than some trumped up historical drama.

 

–Paul

 

 

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