Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Broadcasters piss me off

If someone wins something, like say the NBA Championship, then say they've won it. Don't say they clinched it after it is over. Clinching something isn't the same as winning it. Clinching implies that there is still something left, but the outcome is already decided. Like a team clinching a playoff spot, or homefield advantage, even though there are still games left to play, they have clinched, and it can't be taken away regardless of what happens in the remaining games. This is a useful word, but if these idiot broadcasters succeed in making clinch just mean win, then it looses its usefulness. Of course, maybe Mike Breen just doesn't realize that they don't actually play Game 7 if one team has already won four games. That's a scenario I didn't consider.

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Toast said...

Wow, he really said that? That's fucking stupid.

John Howard said...

It's not just him, I hear it all the time. Really bugs me.

Go Mets!

Toast said...

I hate the saying "untracked". You know, like when a baseball player is on a hitless streak and the announcers say "he needs to get untracked"? Where did that word come from? Being "on track" is a good thing, right? So why would someone want to get "untracked" (which I would think is synonymous with "off track")? And since "untracked" and "on track" have opposite meanings but sound the same... It's all very confusing.

I vote to abolish the term "untracked" from the sports lexicon.

Chris Howard said...

Man, there are so many stupid phrases sports broadcasters use, you can do this all day. Maybe it's because most of them learned by watching other sports broadcasters using the same tired cliches and phrases, and misusing words like clinch.

John Howard said...

I don't remember noticing anyone saying untracked, but I don't watch enough baseball. And I agree that on track would be good, so untracked, aside from sounding stupid also doesn't make any sense.

That's what really bothers me Chris. One will misuse a word, or make up some stupid new phrase and it spreads, like none of them listen to anyone talk in normal conversation, the only way they learn how to talk is by listening to other morons.

Mike Meitín said...

I do wholeheartedly agree with you that broadcasters say a lot of dumb shit. However, I disagree with you on this one. From Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: clinch
Pronunciation: 'klinch
Function: verb
Etymology: probably alteration of clench
transitive senses
1 : CLENCH 3
2 a : to turn over or flatten the protruding pointed end of (a driven nail); also : to treat (as a screw, bolt, or rivet) in a similar way b : to fasten in this way
3 a : to make final or irrefutable : SETTLE (that clinched the argument) b : to secure conclusively : WIN
intransitive senses
1 : to hold an opponent (as in boxing) at close quarters with one or both arms
2 : to hold fast or firmly
- clinch·ing·ly /'klin-chi[ng]-lE/ adverb

Clinch most certainly implies the conclusion of something (without necessitating that there be something left). I have seen it written many, many times in reference to winning a championship by highly educated news and sports writers.

John Howard said...

I have to disagree, Mike. If it just means exactly the same thing as win, it's a useless word. It may have evolved into thatalready to the point that Miriam Webster accepts it, but it's a poor use of the word. It should absolutely be reserved for use when there is a decided outcome with stuff still to play.