Dominion Over The Language

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You want to know how big sports is? It supersedes language. That was a serious offense when I was in grade school.

Where is the past tense of “fly,” not “flew”? Baseball, and in this instance I concede the game has a good reason. When a batter hits a fly ball, it’s easy to imagine whimsically that he “flew out to right,” but I can understand the creation of “flied” where baseball is concerned. The ball flew, not the batter.

How come the Miami Heat gets to be plural? Heat isn’t plural. The Heat is. The Heat “are”? “Roses are red (true), violets are purple (true), sugar is sweet (true) and so is maple syrple (untrue),” but Roger Miller was being funny. Grammarians, particularly the amateurs who work on sports desks, just knuckled under without a fight. They’d better hope Noah Webster didn’t die, go to heaven, and become St. Peter.

God knows it’s not just sports. Sports is (obviously, I opt for singular here) merely a microcosm of society, a cliché told me by innumerable people who don’t know what a microcosm is but are damn proud to be able to pronounce it.

Last night I learned that the local hospital has a staff of hospitalists, which immediately made me think of a TV show I’ve never seen (The Mentalist) and a John Wayne movie (The Shootist). I’m glad they’re not hospitalics (naturally, in italics) because that could be a problem.

Momentarily, the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Dayton Flyers, and not only is Ohio State favored, but fliers are disillusioned everywhere.


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