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Thread: Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

  1. #1

    Default Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

    What do you think of the word choices of some writers when signifying victory in wrestling... (or any sport)?

    Back when my journalism career started (in the 1970s), in high school and in college we were told to keep it simple: "Iowa beat Iowa State" "Hahn topped Trenge 4-3" "New England got a 38-35 victory over the NY Giants" "Gotch defeated Hackenschmidt."

    Nowadays, these verbs don't seem powerful enough, at least to many sportswriters. Instead of merely winning, the victors "kill" "obliterate" "aniliate" "demolish" "trounce" "creamed" "slaughtered" -- you get the idea.

    I'm especially sensitive about this in wrestling coverage.

    Now, there are cases where a writer may need a more powerful word to denote the intensity of the battle, or the lopsidedness of the win: "Mocco destroys Palmer with a major decision in 14 seconds." But, to my way of thinking, a wrestler doesn't destroy an opponent with a 4-3 win (unless the winner was so dominating in terms of how he wrestled, but for some reason that wasn't reflected in the score. Then the writer needs to somehow make that clear in describing the match action.)

    Does any of this make sense? Am I showing my age?

    Weigh in, please. And, whatever you do, don't "crucify" "aniliate" or otherwise "destroy" me. ;-)

    Mark

  2. #2
    Olympic Champ therick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

    Maybe it's the bobcat in me, but I couldn't agree more. It's the modern media's seeming need to create extra excitement about every event. Then again, maybe it's dictated by the readers? People don't seem to want just the facts. They want a scandalous side story, a feud be between the competitors, as if simple competitive spirit isn't enough for today's athlete to go all out for a win.

    Maybe I'm not typical because I don't need a flashy headline to get me to read about an event. If I care about who won, I'll read to find out the details no matter whether one team simply "won" or "dominated" according to the headline.

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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

    I not a big fan of exaggeration (I hate the casual use of words like "awesome" or "superstar"), but I do appreciate colorful and imaginative language. When a sports announcer tells me that the Mariners sank Cleveland or the Steelers smelted Miami, I have to smile; but I agree that the words you mentioned are only appropriate in a very lopsided victory or unusually dominant perormance.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

    What about "We Kicked Their As*" while sitting in the LazyBoy at home eating greasy nachos and drinking beer?

    I know it is not the same as the subject ideamark is wondering, but still gets me asking, "Exactly, What Did You Do" ?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kill, Obliterate, Aniliate, Demolish... What Happened to Just Winning?

    Mark and Rick make many valid points, rather than restate them I'll just add there are not just that many good writers anymore. For example, the local broadsheet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, has maybe 3 or 4 top notch writers on staff (most of the staff are cliched driven hacks of very limited ability). Hacks always confuse verbosity and condenscension with talent, a perusal of almost any daily would confirm this.

    Compare this to the writing I came across while researching the death of my grandfather in a refinery fire (8/18/21), the writing in the Philadelphia Reporter was light years ahead of almost anything put out by the Inky's current cast of characters. There is just a dearth of top quality wordsmiths.

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