Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Abusage

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  • Russell Brown,

    Foremost amongst the many language crimes perpetrated by sports commentators ...

    The use of "up the ante" as if it means "increase the intensity", rather than "raise the stakes".

    Actually, for that matter, they should just stop saying "up the ante" altogether.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    James, I think the word around these parts is "pendant" if I 'm not mistaken...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Of course, if I'm being really pedantic, I would point out that I missed the question mark at the end of the second sentence.

    The rest of us weren't going to say anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I do quite like the black-singleted understatement of 'pretty fucking average'.

    Me too, with particular reference to cricket. The crushing understatement is part of the culture.

    Some people call us pedants but we know better.

    I'm working on weaning myself off. Step one has been trying to stop wincing every time someone says 'different to'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    James, I think the word around these parts is "pendant" if I 'm not mistaken...

    Pendant. I like the way you used ellipses to leave it hanging.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    James, Did you note the part in the delightful film 'Spellbound' (about the strange but wonderful phenomenon that is the spelling bee), where the girl who won the national event got back to her home town to find a large sign up saying 'CONGRADULATIONS' ...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    I'm working on weaning myself off. Step one has been trying to stop wincing every time someone says 'different to'.

    Emma, I'm sorry, it's genetic. You cannot stop worrying about these things.

    And if you can then it's probably the end of civilization.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I also hate it when sports commentators say that a player / team "lacks intestinal fortitude", when they mean "internal fortitude".
    Since when do intestines have to be brave ?

    When you're trying not to shit yourself? I've always thought that one curiously apt.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Foremost amongst the many language crimes perpetrated by sports commentators ...

    They might also like to consider reinstating the verb 'to be' instead of phrasing every sentence as though it's a photo caption. If they edited the word 'obviously' from every sports hero's interview utterances, they'd still have ample spare bulletin time for the words 'are' and 'is'.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __I also hate it when sports commentators say that a player / team "lacks intestinal fortitude", when they mean "internal fortitude".
    Since when do intestines have to be brave ?__

    When you're trying not to shit yourself? I've always thought that one curiously apt.

    It's a fancy way of saying "guts".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry this brief clip misses the H word, but these guys are the first thing I think of when I hear it - and fitting given Mr Carlin's recent departure:

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Carol, I saw Spellbound. We'd taken our young daughter to see a movie - any movie; it was the school holidays. We saw the name Spellbound and thought it might be some child-pleasing magic or witchy thing. It wasn't. I didn't see the sign, CONGRADULATIONS. I wsih I had. I think young daughter might have been complaining at that stage about there not being enough magic, witchery etc.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I think what most people need here is closure.

    On a fairly different note I saw a T-Shirt at Victoria Park Markets earlier today that simply said
    "I shaved my balls for this?".

    I've been trying to suppress out loud laughter ever since.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I do quite like the black-singleted understatement of 'pretty fucking average'.

    Weird, I never took it to mean what you've all described it as. I always figured it meant "the all-players average" not their individual ones. By which I mean if Dan Cater only scores 3 points instead of his average of 20 (a figure I really must look up one day) then he's down to being an "average" player rather than the world's best first-five.

    Although it has to be said, sports commentary is not the place to go for the best in language.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I believe the "intestinal fortitude" was an intentional over-complication (for comedy value) of the term "guts"

    being brave = having guts. guts are intestines.... etc.

    Just like "testicular fortitude" gets exchanged for "having balls".

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    On a fairly different note I saw a T-Shirt at Victoria Park Markets earlier today that simply said
    "I shaved my balls for this?".

    My favorite for the year remains Martin W's "The Pope touched me Down Under".

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In tee slogans, I quite like "I wish these were brains".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    James, er yes, 'Spellbound' was aimed at pedants rather than small children. I was very taken by its social insights, but watching with a small fidgety one wouldn't have been fun.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Quardle Oodle,

    Don't forget to have a good whinge about "literally", which is getting a good mauling these days. I read a vanity piece in the Herald recently where a woman sang the virtues of her Austin Mini, which "literally runs on the smell of an oily rag". Gotta get me one of those.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Emma

    Step one has been trying to stop wincing every time someone says 'different to'.

    Soon you'll be indifferent to it

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In tee slogans, I quite like "I wish these were brains".

    I like 'if you can read this, you're staring at my tits'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I like 'if you can read this, you're staring at my tits'.

    I hate those - "Uh... she'll think I'm staring at her tits."

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    It's a form of entrapment! :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Yikes! http://www.volnation.com/images/jorts.jpg

    When did they stop being cut off jeans?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It's a form of entrapment! :)

    Duh.

    My ultimate goal is one that says 'if you can read this you're too close', in Braille.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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