Google, Bing launch TV advertising duel
STLtoday.comThe campaign is part of Microsoft's attempt to trip up Google Inc. Google has been countering with its own emotional ads throughout the year. Most of Google's ads
Memories Worth 1,000 Pradas
A trip that stays with you forever can be a far more poignant and personal gift than an expensive designer item or hastily bought jewelry. From breaking bread with Berbers in Morocco to meditating in a Cambodian monastery, we pick the top experiences that will leave an impression long after touchdown.
Scandal Grows at News Corp.
Former News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks was arrested and the head of Scotland Yard stepped down, as a convulsive phone-hacking scandal raced into the loftiest ranks of Britain's business and law-enforcement worlds.
Amazon Scores E-Book Deal
Amazon.com struck a deal to offer separate biographies of the two potential first ladies on an exclusive basis to users of its Kindle electronic-book reader.
Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo scores big
His record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid has been the major talking
point in the world of football for over a week now.
The DW-WORLD Article
Jamaica win 4x100m relay gold, smash world record
Jamaica underlined its dominance in track sprint events at the Beijing Olympics when the men's 4x100m relay won gold and shattered the world record by three-tenths of a second. With the victory, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won his third gold medal and set his third world record at these Games. Only the Jamaican women failed to win their sprint relay, denying the Caribbean country a clean sweep of the short distance events.
Make or cause someone to make a mistake, as in The other finalist tripped up when he was asked to spell "trireme," or They tripped him up with that difficult question. [Second half of 1700s]
A "clean sweep" for a naval vessel refers to having "swept the enemy from the seas," a completely successful mission. It is traditionally indicated by hanging a broom from a mast or lashing it to the shears of a submarine.
Wikipedia article "Clean sweep (naval)".
verb [T] swept, swept
to clean especially a floor by using a brush to collect the dirt into one place from which it can be removed:
sweep the floor
sweep Show phonetics
1 [C usually singular] the act of sweeping something:
I've given the kitchen floor a sweep (= I have swept it).
2 [C] OLD-FASHIONED FOR chimney sweep
sweeper Show phonetics
1 someone or something that sweeps:
a carpet sweeper (= a machine for cleaning carpets)
a road sweeper (= a person whose job is cleaning the roads)
2 In football, a sweeper is a player whose position is behind the other defenders (= players whose main aim is to stop points from being scored).
A talking point is a neologism for an idea which may or may not be factual, usually compiled in a short list with summaries of a speaker's agenda for public or private engagements. Public relations professionals, for example, sometimes prepare "talking points memos" for their clients to help them more effectively conform public presentations with this advice.
On the ballMeaning
To be alert; in command of one's senses.
Some authorities have suggested that 'on the ball' originated in the sporting arena, and alludes to runners being on the balls of their feet, eagerly ready to run a race. This has some similarities with being 'up to scratch', which derives from boxers or runners being ready at the starting line. It is a plausible derivation, but has nothing to recommend it beyond that.
A more commonly advocated location for the source of 'on the ball' is the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. This is where the oldest surviving and best known time-ball is sited. The Greenwich time-ball was installed in 1833 to signal the accurate time to passing ships. It was, and still is, raised just before 1pm each day and falls as 1pm strikes on the observatory's clock. Captains needed to have their ships' chronometers set accurately in order to navigate correctly, hence they needed to be 'on the ball'. It's a nice story and there are any number of tour guides around the observatory who are all too happy to repeat it. Unfortunately...
Need I go on? It isn't true.
The phrase 'on the ball' did actually originate in the sporting arena, but relates to the eyes rather than the feet. It is a contraction of the earlier expression 'keep your eye on the ball', which advice has been given to participants in virtually every known ball game. For the source, we need to look to early ball games. The phrase is recorded in early records of cricket, golf, croquet and baseball and many people regard baseball as the origin. Well, that appears to be almost true - the earliest citation that I can find in print comes from the English game of rounders. The English novelist William Kingston wrote 'books for boys', and in 1864 published Ernest Bracebridge, or, Schoolboy Days, which includes this scene:
Ellis seized the bat with a convulsive clutch... Remembering Ernest's advice, he kept his eye on the ball, and hit it so fairly that he sent it flying away to a considerable distance. "Capital!" cried Ernest. "Run! run! - two bases at least."American readers will recognise the similarity of the rounders terminology with that of baseball. For those not familiar with rounders and/or baseball, suffice it to say that they are essentially the same game, but that it is easier to imagine Sylvester Stallone playing baseball. There's no consensus on this but there's a strong case to be made that baseball is in fact an English game, being merely a beefed-up variation of rounders.
In 1744, which is certainly before anyone is known to have played baseball in the USA, John Newbery, an English publisher and a man with a reasonable claim to be the originator of literature printed specifically for children, produced A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly. That title sounds entirely suitable as the source of the rules of the game of rounders, which is played nowadays by children. Nevertheless, the book includes a graphic labelled Base-Ball, which shows men playing the game and which is accompanied by a rhyme that pretty much sums up the basics of both rounders and baseball:
The ball, once stuck off,Baseball may or may not have been the origin of 'keep your eye on the ball', but it did take over the use of the phrase. As well as as the batters 'keeping their eye on the ball', the pitchers were also said to 'put something on the ball', i.e. they imparted some spin or curve on it. This usage dates from the start of the 20th century, for example, this piece from The Indianapolis Star, April 1910:
Away flies the boy
To the next destin'd post,
And then home with joy.
Graham put something on the ball that fooled even Bowerman.The figurative version of the phrase 'on the ball', i.e. with the meaning of being 'alert or apt' in a context where no actual ball is present, began later still. In 1989, W. C. Williams and J. Laughlin published Selected Letters, which contained an extract from a letter written Williams in 1939:
The novella by Quevedo... [is] right on the ball.As to whether the phrase originated in the USA or the UK, on present evidence, I'd call it a 1-1 draw.
On the ball
On the bubble
On the QT
On the wagon
On the warpath
1 [I or T] to win or obtain a point, goal etc. in a competitive activity, such as a sport or game, or in an exam:
Tennant scored (a goal) in the last minute of the match.
In American football, a touchdown scores (= is worth) six points.
She scored 18 out of 20 in the spelling test.
2 [I or T] to succeed in an activity or to achieve something:
She has certainly scored (a success) with her latest novel.
Nearly every bomb scored a hit.
You have a lot of patience - that's where you score over (= are better than) your opponents.
3 [I] UK to record the number of points won by competitors:
We need someone to score for tomorrow's match.
4 [T] US INFORMAL to obtain something:
I managed to score a couple of tickets to the World Cup final.
5 [I or T] SLANG to obtain illegal drugs:
She tried to score some dope in a nightclub.
6 [I] SLANG If someone scores, they have sex with someone that they have usually just met:
Did you score last night, then?
score Show phonetics
noun [C] plural scores
the number of points, goals, etc. achieved in a game or competition:
a high/low score
Have you heard the latest cricket score?
At half time, the score stood at (= was) two all.
The final score was 3-0.
Could you keep (= record) the score at this afternoon's match?
scoreless Show phonetics
In a scoreless game, no goals or points are scored:
After a scoreless first half, United went on to win 2-0.
a scoreless draw
scorer Show phonetics
1 (US USUALLY scorekeeper) the person who records the score in a game
2 someone who scores a point or goal in a game
half-time Show phonetics
a short rest period between the two parts of a sports game:
Italy had a comfortable three-goal lead over France by half-time.
What was the half-time score?
Compare full time.It’s hard to argue with those maxims. They seem self-evident — if not written into the Constitution, then at least part of the cultural water supply that irrigates everything from halftime speeches to corporate lectures to SAT coaching classes.
- Sports. To compete in a contest of speed.
- To move rapidly or at top speed: We raced home. My heart was racing with fear.
- To run too rapidly due to decreased resistance or unnecessary provision of fuel: adjusted the idle to keep the engine from racing.
- An intense, paroxysmal, involuntary muscular contraction.
- An uncontrolled fit, as of laughter; a paroxysm.
- Violent turmoil: "The market convulsions of the last few weeks have shaken the world" (Felix Rohatyn).
- Marked by or having the nature of convulsions.
- Having or producing convulsions.
convulsiveness con·vul'sive·ness n.