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Friday, August 10, 2012

Gold medal pedantry

I've been thoroughly obsessed with the Olympics for the last couple of weeks, which wasn't really what my circadian rhythms were crying out for following the late-night viewings of Euro 2012. The opening ceremony, the sporting brilliance and the presentation of the UK as a multicultural and forward-thinking nation have all been a balm to a soul exposed to years of the ultra-cynical Premier League.

Nevertheless, I will forever be a pedant and, in particular, a linguistic pedant. So a few points of order are required.

1) Girl

The female athletes are not girls, they are either women or, y'know, athletes. Commentators please take note. Caveat; I'll allow the use of ladies, but only in the equestrian events.

2) Hero

Being exceptionally good at running, jumping, swimming or a combination of the aforementioned does not make you a hero. Heroes are folks who sacrifice themselves for others, as in soldiers jumping on a grenade or single parents working themselves sick for the sake of their kids.

3) Proud

This is a stickier one because the word is used in more than one way, but to me it is absurd to say that the Olympics have made me proud to be British. I think that in order to be proud of something I must have done something for which I can take credit. I am proud of my marriage, I am proud of my children, but I cannot feel pride about the fact I happen to have born in the paradise that is suburban Essex.

Let's just say that these tremendous Olympics have made me feel honoured, and indeed privileged, to be British.


Blogger JD said...

Oi! What's wrong with suburban Essex? Bloody Aussies.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Goodfellow said...

That wasn't sarcasm, that was, um, understatement

2:59 AM  

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