An emotional David Beckham stepped down as England skipper after holding the role for six years following England's World Cup exit against Portugal in Germany.
Taiwan skippers hail pact and jump the gun
The Japan Times
Even though the new Japan-Taiwan fishing treaty didn't come into force until Friday, some Taiwanese trawlers landed their first catch Thursday. Lin Hsin-chuan, secretary general of the Association of Longline Fishing, said the Tiaoyutai Islands, known ...
Japan Jumps the Gun With False Alarms on North Korea
Wall Street Journal
As the world watches nervously for signs of a possible North Korean missile launch, it's Japan that turns out to have an itchy trigger finger. Japanese officials from southern Kyushu to Yokohama near Tokyo have over the past week unleashed a series of ...
"It is customary for baseball teams from two different countries to have two different balls and to use balls of their choice （when fielding）."
Ain't This Good English?
Do slang and vulgarity belong in the dictionary? A look at America's greatest language controversy
"Slightly Stoopid murked it last night," read the update on my nephew'sFacebook FB 0.00% page. Slightly Stoopid is a band and, I learned from an online dictionary, "murk" is gamer slang for "destroy," but used here to mean "played very well." Reading Chad Harbach's novel "The Art of Fielding" last year, however, I knew instantly what was meant when an opposing pitcher was described as "filthy": His pitching was extremely hard to hit. And in watching the Judd Apatow comedy "Superbad," I had no trouble understanding the Jonah Hill character when he exclaimed "fo' sho'," dropping his final Rs from "for sure." As words test the invisible barrier between slang and conventional English, newbs like me (newb is gamer slang for newbie or neophyte) are forced to wade in against a constant tide of nonstandard English.
But I try to be a good sport about it. Most people do. When the Oxford English Dictionary announced in 2004 that it was entering "bootylicious" into its pages, there was not much of a protest. It actually seemed funny and, more or less, harmless. This itself is significant.
A half-century ago, when G. & C. Merriam Co. announced its new dictionary, Webster's Third, there was an incredible outcry. It became known as "the permissive dictionary" and provoked what was probably the greatest language controversy in American history.
The trouble started with a news release. The new dictionary was said to contain an "avalanche of bewildering new verbal concepts": A-bomb, astronaut, beatnik, den mother, fringe benefit, solar house, wage dividend and Zen. Then came a parade of names you wouldn't expect to be quoted in the dictionary: pulp fiction writer Mickey Spillane ("the gun clunked on the floor"), pinup girl Betty Grable ("Every time I even smile at a man anymore the papers have me practically married to him"), and onetime madam Polly Adler ("There was no shaking off the press").
The editor of Webster's Third, Philip Gove, said that the English language had become less formal over the previous quarter-century. His point was reinforced most of all by the dictionary's treatment of "ain't," possibly the most famous stink word in the English language, which the news release said was finally entering a dictionary and was described in Webster's Third as "used orally in most parts of the U.S. by cultivated speakers."
An editorial in the Chicago Daily News said, "Cultivated, our foot." Newspaper headline writers played the story for laughs: "Saying 'Ain't' Ain't Wrong," blared the Chicago Tribune; "Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Use of Ain't," said the Louisville Times. Others objected, also in big type: "It Ain't Good," said the Washington Sunday Star; "Ain't Still Has Taint," said the Binghamton Sunday Press.
Literary intellectuals piled on. In the Atlantic, Wilson Follett called Webster's Third "a very great calamity" and accused its editors of attempting to sabotage the English language. Jacques Barzun in the American Scholar called Webster's Third "the longest political pamphlet ever put together by a party."
It is easy to see now how comically overwrought all this was. The original news release misquoted the usage note for "ain't," leaving out that it was "disapproved by many" and partly labeled substandard. Also, "ain't" had been in other dictionaries before, including the more conservative Webster's Second.
But Gove had invited trouble by intentionally blurring the difference between formal and informal language. He had minimized the use of the slang label and junked all of the prejudicial labeling used in Webster's Second, where dubious terms were bluntly called vulgar or humorous or erroneous. And he had excluded a key label for words that have currency in speech but not in formal writing: "colloquial."
Describing good usage was a tricky problem for Gove. Not only did highbrow speakers sometimes use lowbrow language, but modern linguistics had declared war on classroom grammar and shown many familiar rules to be based on a highly selective view of English. The National Council of Teachers of English was saying that "correctness rests upon usage" and "all usage is relative." But instead of straddling the fence between old-fashioned rule-mongering and the new agnosticism on correctness, Gove jumped to one side.
In the past 50 years, "ain't" has lost some of its stink, but not its folksy potency. Bill Clinton used it at the Democratic National Convention after he cited the famous line that "every politician wants every voter to believe that he was born in a log cabin he built himself." Said Mr. Clinton, whose resume lists Yale and Oxford: "It ain't so."
Meanwhile some highly offensive language has become colloquial even as it remains offensive. At a family restaurant recently, I saw a young man dressed in a T-shirt with an F-bomb across the chest. Language is very complicated, Philip Gove liked to say. Which is true. But perhaps, then, his dictionary needed more labels, not fewer.—Mr. Skinner is the author of the new book "The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published."
A version of this article appeared October 27, 2012, on page C3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Ain't This Good English?.
- Fielding (cricket), the action of fielders in collecting the ball after it is struck by the batsman
|.||fielding - (baseball) handling the ball while playing in the field|
handling, manipulation - the action of touching with the hands (or the skillful use of the hands) or by the use of mechanical means
baseball, baseball game - a ball game played with a bat and ball between two teams of nine players; teams take turns at bat trying to score runs; "he played baseball in high school"; "there was a baseball game on every empty lot"; "there was a desire for National League ball in the area"; "play ball!"
1 《野球・クリケット》〈球を〉受け止める, さばく；〈選手・チームを〉守備につける；試合［出場］させる.
2 〈軍隊・チームなどを〉編成する；〈候補者を〉党の公認とする［擁立する］, 立候補させる.
3 （テレビ・ラジオなどで）〈質問・電話などに〉当意即妙に答える；〈問題を〉てきぱき処理する［さばく］；〈地位などを〉守る.━━(自)《野球・クリケット》野手をつとめる, 守備につく；球を受け止める［さばく］.
Definition of skipper
Origin:late Middle English: from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schipper, from schip 'ship'
jump the gun