My Current Aggravation: Final Four Clichés

On the eve of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Final Four, let me offer my own Final Four of phrases that are driving me into my own version of March Madness:

  • Ball screen: This is what we used to call a pick–a damn good, one-word description of the maneuver.
  • Matchup: As in a matchup between two teams.  In other words, a game.
  • Well coached: In a tournament that includes (at least theorectically) the top 68 teams in their division (out of 345), are any poorly coached? And exactly when does a team change from “well coached” to “extremely well coached?”
  • Score the ball: As in “this player can score the ball,” or what used to be just “score.” Do we really need to say “the ball?” What else is the player going to score?

Perhaps the best solution for Final Four watching might be to turn off the sound and listen to music instead. For those who prefer to listen to the commentary, remember to bring your red pencil as well as your beer–or just drag an editor along to watch with you.

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Filed under Behind the Words, Commentary, My Current Aggravation, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

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