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The Proper Term for Deciding a World Cup Match

I love the World Cup. Every four years, nations come together for a truly global sporting event. Since billions of people follow the sport, it truly is a world series, and the winning nation can rightfully be called “world champion” (even if it was France).

How many other sports can be credited with starting a war (between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969) and achieving peace (Ivory Coast’s civil war in 2006)? Few others.

In this tournament, I feel very smart because anybody who asked me during the knockout phase who I liked, I told them Croatia. Luka Modric was a revelation — although if I followed European football a little closer, I would have known about him since he plays for Real Madrid, which just won the UEFA Champions League.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament, even getting up early to watch those early-morning matches. The one thing I didn’t enjoy — and never do — is the tiebreak procedure.

I believe the format should follow hockey. If there is a tie after regulation, take your usual 15-minute break, then play 45 more minutes until somebody scores (you can add substitutions if you’d like). Keep doing this until somebody scores, as many 45-minute periods as it takes.

But if you’re going to use the current format, at least call it by its correct name: “Kicks from the Mark.”

The FIFA Laws of the Game make it very clear that is what the procedure is called. It is not called a “shootout” or a “penalty shootout,” as I heard Fox announcers call them over and over again. Only once did I hear somebody say it correctly (I think it was Rob Stone, but I’m not certain).

First, a “penalty kick” is only awarded if a foul punished with a direct free kick occurs in the penalty area. As the tiebreak procedure happens after play concludes, there are no fouls. The word “shootout” does not appear anywhere in the Laws of the Game.

However, players are taking kicks, and they are taking them from that mark 12 yards from the goal line. Hence, kicks from the mark.

The next World Cup is November 2022 in Qatar. Plenty of time to get it right next time.

Until next time! Use the right words!


July 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Have no Friends in Paris or Thailand

I received the following email. I have no idea what this person is talking about, since I never received any past email, and why am I being thanked for something I didn’t do? How does this convince some sucker to get scammed?

Hello friend, 

Did you receive my last email which i sent to you from Thailand? Anyway, the message was to inform you that I have successfully moved the funds to Paris, France. I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort, time and concern you showed to help me out, even though we did not succeed following one reason or the other best known to you. It was with the help of a French business tycoon who was capable of assisting me in this great venture via a diplomatic means. 

For your effort, sincerity, and trustworthiness, you showed at the beginning of the transaction, I have decided to compensate you and show my gratitude with the sum of $750,000. I have authorized my new lawyer who is now also my legal adviser in Bangkok, Thailand to issue you an International certified bank cashiers check which I signed in your favor before leaving Thailand for Paris. I will like you to contact the lawyer for the collection procedure of this international certified bank check, and below is the contact information's of the lawyer:. 

Barr(Mr): Richard Morgan 
Bangkok Thailand 

At the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which I and my new partner are having at hand in Paris France. Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the Lawyer on your behalf to send the bank Check to you as soon as you contact him without delay. 
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. I wish you a strong and successful new year. 

Thanks and God bless you and your family. 

Mrs. Rose George 

Capitalization makes it clear that this is not written by someone whose first language is English. I also wonder if the names are real. Probably not.

Until next time! Use the right words!

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcer Shows His Soccer Ignorance

It might not seem like much to most people, but when I hear sports announcers/commentators use the wrong words, I wince, cringe and feel annoyance.

The latest case in point: Today’s FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer match between France and England (very boring, I might add, which was why I found myself listening to the announcers/commentators). Every time England would pass the ball from one sideline to the other sideline, the Fox Sports announcer Justin Kutcher would say, “And now, England switches fields.”

But they didn’t. The players stayed on that same artificial pitch in the stadium in Moncton, New Brunswick.

What they did was switch sides of the field. From left to right or right to left (or up and down on your TV set).

Field, in this case, means “an area constructed, equipped or marked for sports.” That’s where they played.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. Kutcher is not a soccer announcer. He mostly calls college football, college basketball and Major League Baseball games.

But his partner, Aly Wagner, was a national team player. She should have known better.

Until next time! Use the right words!

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Once Again, For The Veterans

I honored the veterans last year, but I believe it’s worth repeating.

Today is Armistice Day, which marks the Armistice of Compiègne that the Allies and Germany signed in France on Nov. 11, 1918, officially ending the Great War’s war on the western front. It went into effect, famously, on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

That’s what I would have written between 1919 and 1939, when there had been only one world war.

After World War II, many countries changed the name of the holiday. In the United States, it was renamed All Veterans Day, which was later shortened to Veterans Day. It honors all veterans from all conflicts who serve or have served. This is not the same as Memorial Day, which honors the veterans who died while serving.

But notice the spelling of Veterans. It’s not Veteran’s Day because we honor all veterans, not just one. It could be spelled Veterans’ Day, but it’s not.

Hopefully, there’s someone out there wearing a button or a t-shirt that says, “Kiss me, I’m a veteran.”

If you come across someone with it, give a kiss.

Or at the very least, a thank-you and a salute.

Until next time! Use the right words!

November 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

21 Reasons Why English Can Be So Difficult

Today, I simply repost something that I received: 21 correct sentences — despite the cliche in No. 7 and the repeated words in Nos. 2 and 9 — that clearly demonstrate English is a difficult language to master, and how lucky we are if it’s our native tongue.

What’s your favorite? Any of these a pet peeve? Let me know.Comments welcomed.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend.

Thanks to Aish N. for the link.

Until next time! Use the right words!

June 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


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