Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Errors by sports commentators

Garner's Modern American Usage is not as hard on "individual" as I was yesterday. But as a universal substitute for "person," we are in agreement that "individual" is not strong. GMAU at 447.

If you were watching the men's NCAA basketball tournament and saw Bucknell defeat Kansas, perhaps you noticed that the color commentator kept referring to Bucknell as the by-sawn. The word is Bison, pronounced by-sn. (Imagine there's a little schwa--upside-down "e"--between the "s" and "n"). It is NOT by-sawn. I laughed out loud it was so funny.

I believe you will hear more English-usage errors and word gaffes in sports commentating than anywhere else. First, they have to talk a lot. Second it's all extemporaneous. Third, some of them are just not that smart.

Care to share an example? Here's one:

"There's a three-second differential between the game clock and the shot clock." How about just a "difference"?

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