“Sports Talk” by Colin McNairn
Sports, language, culture
February 6, 2017
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
If someone tries to count all the various idioms and phrases in everyday language that have their origins tied to sports, he or she would have a huge task. Instead of simply counting them, lawyer and author Colin McNairn went one step further and collected 650 of the most popular of these phrases and writes about them with plenty of humor, anecdotes and trivia mixed in.
The book is organized by sport – each chapter will describe phrases used from each sport that are widely (or even not-so-widely) used in business, politics or regular conversation. The list is far too extensive to write here, but not to worry – the index of the book not only has an alphabetical listing of subjects, but there is also an alphabetical list of each phrase mentioned in the book.
The sports where these phrases originate vary widely as well, from archery to baseball to Australian Rules football. As one might imagine, the “ball” sports in North America are the origin for most of the phrases, but a few other sports also have their fair share of idioms used every day, especially horse racing.
The author does mention that the phrases documented in the book are used in English-speaking areas such as North America (mainly Canada and the United States), the United Kingdom and Australia. The book is one that flows well and the reader will finish it rather easily in one sitting. Describing any particular phrase in this review would not do the book justice as the book does an excellent job at explaining each phrase used. A reader does not have to be a sports fan in order to enjoy this book. If one is either a sports fan or one who is intrigued by language, it is one that should be read by that person.
I wish to thank Mr. McNairn for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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