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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 13, 2008 / 12 Menachem-Av 5768

Our Sporty English Language

By Richard Lederer

Bill O'Reilly
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes it seems that almost all Americans either play sports or watch them. Because sports occupy such a central place in American life and imagination, athletic metaphors pervade our everyday speech and writing. There is indeed a kind of democratic poetry in the sporty metaphors that make our English language so athletic, and these metaphors are vivid emblems of the games that we, as a people, watch and play.

To take one sport from the Olympics, straight from the shoulder, boxing metaphors pull no punches in our language. When fate has us on the ropes and is hitting us with low blows in a knockdown, dragout fight, we can take it on the chin, get knocked for a loop, go down for the count, or throw in the towel or sponge; or we can roll with the punches, beat our opponent to the punch, come out swinging, or be saved by the bell. When political candidates enter a political race, they "throw their hat in the ring." This popular expression, dating back to the nineteenth century, is said to spring from the custom of throwing a hat in a boxing ring to signal acceptance of a pugilist's challenge.

Okay, sports fans and Olympics devotees. How many sports and games can you find hidden in the following passage?:

When the chips are down and the situation is up for grabs because our opponent is tossing in a red herring, we must knuckle down, hold the line, call the shots, hit the bullseye, get on a roll, get the ball rolling, take the bull by the horns with no holds barred, and put the ball in the other guy's court. Otherwise, we may end up jumping the gun, not up to par, down and out, out in left field, behind the eight ball, barking up the wrong tree, coming a cropper, taking the bait hook, line, and sinker, or facing a sticky wicket.

Answers

Twenty-one sports and games are represented:
When the chips are down (poker) and the situation is up for grabs (basketball) because our opponent is tossing in a red herring (fox-hunting), we must knuckle down (marbles), hold the line (football), call the shots (billiards), hit the bullseye (archery), get on a roll (dicing), get the ball rolling (soccer), take the bull by the horns (rodeo), with no holds barred (wrestling), and put the ball in the other guy's court (tennis). Otherwise, we may end up jumping the gun (track), not up to par (golf), down and out (boxing), out in left field (baseball), behind the eight ball (pool), barking up the wrong tree (coon hunting), coming a cropper (horse racing), taking the bait hook, line, and sinker (fishing), and facing a sticky wicket (cricket).

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JWR contributor Richard Lederer is a language maven. More than a million of his books, which have been Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild alternate selections, are in print. His latest work is Presidential Trivia: The Feats, Fates, Families, Foibles, and Firsts of Our American Presidents


© 2008, Richard Lederer

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