Monday, 25 January 2016

Grammar Minute 4

Grammar rant: The Albany Devils play-by-play dude used the phrase “answer back”, which I loathe, it makes me shudder.

It’s such a redundancy, like ‘free gift’, or ‘good goal’, in hockey parlance. Either it’s a goal or it isn’t a goal, Mr. Referee.

And a team, after being scored on, can be said to need to ‘answer’ with a goal of their own, to reply with a goal, or score right back. But not ‘answer back’. For that usage to be correct, maybe, you’d need one team to score, then the other to answer, at which point you could say the first team now needs to answer back.

It’s like ‘re-aggravate’. It’s such a sportscaster move, to add syllables to a word and assume that makes it more cromulent. A player gets hurt, and then makes the injury worse a while later. He has aggravated the injury, made it more grave, or re-injured it. If he then re-injured it again, maybe you could say he re-aggravated it, but it would be just as correct to say he aggravated it, again made it worse.

There, all done now. Don’t we all feel more better?

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