usingtherightwords

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On Michael Wilbon and What (or Who) is Dominant


One of my favorite sports talk shows is “Pardon the Interruption,” which airs in the afternoons on ESPN. Former Washington Post columnists Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon debate the topics and issues of the day.

On this particular day, the two discussed golfer Jordan Spieth’s 18-under-par victory at The Masters, tying him with Tiger Woods for the best 72-hole score, and debated if Spieth was truly dominant.

Wilbon was emphatic that Spieth was not dominant. “Dominant means singular,” he said and then gave examples of people he believed were truly dominant: Michael Jordan and Jack Nicklaus.

But dominant means singular caught my attention. Is Wilbon correct?

The dominant definition, so to speak, of dominant is “commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others.” No mention of singular or plural. So, he could be correct. But the 1927 New York Yankees could also be considered dominant.

There is a usage note that says dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling, such as a dominant social class.

Dominant is primarily an adjective, but there are four definitions of the word as a noun. The final one: “a dominant individual in a social hierarchy.”

So, is Wilbon right? What’s the dominant opinion out there? Let me know.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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April 15, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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