Wednesday, January 18, 2006

If it looks like a language Nazi ...

I really love watching the tennis. I love watching the tennis so much that I have now missed several deadlines and we're still less than three weeks into January. But given how much tennis commentators get paid (actually I don't know how much they get paid but I bet it's a lot more than anyone will ever pay me), I really do think it behooves them to get a little polish, pronunciation- and usage-wise. So here are some things I really, really want the tennis commentators to do:

* Learn how to pronounce the name of every player in the tournament, preferably before the tournament begins. There are usually rules for these things, like the Slavic women's names that go almost universally mispronounced.

* Stop saying 'bundled out', forever. This idiotic expression is overdue to be bundled out of the language.

* Stop calling Mark Philippoussis 'Scud'. Scud missiles were a popular feature of a now-almost-forgotten conflict in the Middle East, the one that started over the summer of 1990-1991. That's fifteen years ago, folks. Time to move on. (God, is the Poo really that old?) (They may call him the Poo if they wish. Roy and HG rule.)

* Stop saying 'back-to-back' when they mean 'consecutive'. 'Back-to-back' is not only inaccurate but sounds kind of rude. So does 'the Poo', I know, but in a nicer way.

* Stop saying 'parochial' when they mean 'partisan'. What do these people think the OED is for?

* John Alexander: you need to stop raving about Lleyton Hewitt for long enough to draw breath occasionally, especially when the other bloke is the one making the shot. We know you're a Hewitt fan but you need to tone it down. People will talk.

* Mark Woodforde: you're a champ. You've got a lovely voice. You say really, really interesting and intelligent things about the tennis. But 'anything' and 'something' do not end with the consonant K. The word for the letter H is not pronounced Haitch. And the given name of Xavier Malisse is not even pronounced 'Ex-Avier', much less 'Egg-Zavier'.

I feel better now. Thank you.


Lucy Tartan said...

On this subject: I'm embarrassed by the ubiquitous discussion of Serena Willliams' body. It's borderline racist, imo.

elsewhere said...

There was a good op ed in the SMH on the over-mentioning of Serena Williams' body.

Pavlov -- would never have picked you for a tennis freak or any kind of sports fan.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Lucy: agreed. They slaver over the blonde Russians (first Kournikova, now Sharapova) in a coy nudge-nudge way, which is almost worse.

Elsewhere: re being an unlikely sports fan, it's the peasant build. It's deceptive. But back when I was a relatively mobile teenager I used to play tennis for my school (not in the A team, of course) and I usually won. I have also been known to go to the footy to watch Port Power, well, all right, to watch Gavin. I love all horse sports except hunting and steeplechasing which should both be banned. I'm often happy to watch the cricket and I can tell you what most of the fielding positions are called.

Golf, on the other hand, makes me want to chew off my own hand.