Thursday, September 04, 2008

Could political pundits please cool it with the sports metaphors?

It's getting to be a somewhat annoying routine. I'm reading some political talking head essay or blog, or watching someone on TV talking about the latest outrage or gambit by a politician and all of a sudden, even though I am fluent, actually quite fluent in English, I suddenly have NO idea what someone's sentence just meant. The other speaker runs with it and continues the conversation, obviously in the loop but I am baffled. The insidious sports metaphor has struck again.

How did this happen? And how have they suddenly become so ubiquitous that anyone who doesn't follow sports and the accompanying jargon can be so often mystified by a fellow English speaker's flow of conversation or train of thought in an essay.

I'm happy to look up a word in the dictionary if I'm reading a book or an essay and I'm just not sure of the meaning. But nowadays there are so many of these jargony phrases- and they are usually phrases- tossed around that of course everybody must know the meanings of - well, it's becoming annoying. I have zero interest in sports, don't watch it, don't care, don't know the teams, don't want to know. The world of sports is, I gather, frigging full of these colourful, mystifying terms.
Today's term is "work the refs". I was just about to look it up by going to google and hoping to find a definition, but I got so annoyed about having to go to the trouble of doing all that I thought, no. Before I look up the meaning of "work the refs", I'm going to post a blog about it, and therefore lessen my pique. In a moment, I'll deliver myself on Wikipedia and, with hope, discover just what Barack Obama was on about. But for now, I'm simply begging them to stop, so I won't have to keep doing this. But I know they won't. It's hopeless.
This blog entry was simply my Hail Mary pass.

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