Baseball Players are Being Referred to as Mere “Pieces” More Frequently

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[also posted on http://www.sportuoso.wordpress.com]

All industries and cultures have jargon.  Sometimes it involves the creation of entirely new words as the IT business does frequently (e.g. malware and defragging), while other commonly used words are simply redefined over time such as “backlog” or “cell.”1

Baseball is no different.  It has terms first used in other sports:  screw ball, grand slam and innings.2,3,4  It has also come up with a few of its own:  sacrifice fly5 and squeeze play.6

Conversational lexicon changes daily especially when modern media like Twitter truncates words and invents abbreviations like “LOL.”  Baseball has its own innovation with the word “piece” being most popular during June and July as the no-waiver trading deadline approaches.  It is used to represent the player(s) who are available to attract big name stars in return.  When used excessively, it seems to reduce the status of a human player to mere pawns in a game.  True, players may feel that way if their contracts give them limited say in what happens to them.  However, we should try to maintain respect so as not to diminish the dignity of the person.  Otherwise, we end up with these:

“And it doesn’t hurt that he’s on a cheap contract that runs out after the season, making him a fairly easy and obvious trade piece if the A’s remain buried in the AL West… Either way, barring a turnaround from the Bucs, he seems quite likely to be a top trade piece this summer… With free agency beckoning, the veteran reliever is probably the Phils’ clearest trade piece… Neither veteran is hitting much early on, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still likely trade pieces… It’s not quite clear whether Atlanta will end up looking to move these moderately priced veterans, but both are swinging the bat well and could be useful pieces in the right situation.”7

It becomes more impersonal with those participating in fantasy leagues:

“In life, it’s always nice to get a deal and in fantasy, that can come in the form of trading pieces that have been performing beyond and below expectations… I’d even trade for Wil Myers because you can probably get an extra piece back with him with how hot Zimmerman’s been… Some pieces I would trade him for include Ryan Braun, Xander Bogaerts, and Jonathan Villar.”8

Those who are employees or stakeholders in a firm should consider how they’d feel if they were referred to as “pieces of the company.”

 

1 – “Backlog” meant the biggest log in the fire during colonial times. Today, it means a reserve or a pile of work you still need to plow through.”

“ Cell used to mean jail! Or a tiny part of your body…” said Amy Richards.
Today, of course, it’s also what you call your phone,”
from “These Everyday Words Used To Have Completely Different Meanings,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/words-that-have-changed-meaning_n_4847343.html, 2/26/2014.

2 – “The first published reference in the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] is from an 1866 book on cricket: “A ‘screw’ ball, which in slow bowling would describe the arc of a circle from the pitch to the wicket, becomes in fast bowling a sharp angle.” – from “Screwball etymologies,” by Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman, https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2009/01/screwball-etymologies.html, 1/29/2009.

–“This term originated in the early 1800s in the card game of whist (forerunner of contract bridge), where itrefers to the taking of all thirteen tricks. It later was extended to bridge and various sports, where it has different meanings: in baseball, a homerun hit with runners on all the bases, resulting in four runs for the team; in tennis, winning all four national championships in a single calendar year; in golf, winning all four major championships. In the 1990s the term was used for four related proposals presented on a ballot at once.”
From http://www.dictionary.com/browse/grand-slam

4 – “Cricket originated in England in the 1300s and became a mainstream sport four hundred years later… A match is divided into innings. During an innings, one team bats while the other team bowls and fields.”  From http://www.learn-cricket.com/eng/basics1.php

5 – “The sacrifice fly was adopted as an official rule in 1954, at which point it was distinguished from the sacrifice bunt. Before 1954, Major League Baseball went back and forth as to whether a sacrifice fly should be counted statistically. In the years that it was counted (1908-31 and ’39), it was grouped together with the sacrifice bunt as simply a “sacrifice.”  From http://m.mlb.com/glossary/standard-stats/sacrifice-fly

6 – “An April 20, 1905 Chicago Tribune article stated:  ‘[Ducky] Holmes tried to “squeeze” in the run which would have won the game with a bunt, but it went foul.’”
“The first use of the term “squeeze play” can be found in the Chicago Tribune five days later when an article stated:  ‘[New York Highlanders] manager [Clark] Griffith says he has a new one called the “squeeze play,” which is working wonders.’”  From https://sports.stackexchange.com/questions/4593/why-is-a-squeeze-bunt-referred-to-as-such

7 – “Top 30 Trade Deadline Candidates For 2017,” by Jeff Todd, https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/05/top-30-trade-deadline-candidates-for-2017.html, 5/19/2017.

8 – “7 Players to Trade Now (Fantasy Baseball),” by Clinton Ho, https://www.fantasypros.com/2017/05/7-players-to-trade-now-may-2017/, 5/12/2017.

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Why is it So Difficult to Pronounce “Queso” Correctly?

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American English has had an influx of foreign words as much as our nation has had immigrants.  After years of common use, we can easily stop becoming aware of their origins.  Words such as restaurant and entree (French), delicatessen [often shortened to “deli”] and kindergarten (German)1 , vodka (Russian), as well as fiasco and prima donna (Italian)2 fit into our daily conversations smoothly.

With the increase of those with Hispanic heritage, many Spanish words have become prevalent in our conversations.  Sometimes the words are used even when an English equivalent exists.  This brings us to “queso” or cheese.  A recent fast food television commercial  used the Spanish word throughout rather than its English equivalent.

Fine, many ads do that.  But why is the word pronounced “KAY-so”  instead of “KEH-so”?  In the first place, the long “a” is practically unique to the English language.  Secondly, the correct “eh” sound for the Spanish “e” is already familiar to us Americans.  For example, we have “impressive (“im-PREHS-sihv”), beneficial  (beh-neh-FISH-al), etc.

The closest to a long “a” sound in Spanish comes from words with the “ei” diphthong3 such as in “beisbol” (meaning baseball).

While we’re on the subject, the common unit of currency in several nations, the “peso,” is pronounced “PEH-so”, not “PAY-so.”  Of course, Spanish words aren’t the only ones with foreign origins which are mispronounced when they are easily said correctly.  Perhaps these will be addressed in a future article.

 

1 – “German loanwords in English,” http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/words/loanwords.htm

2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Italian_origin

3 – “A diphthong… also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel soundswithin the same syllable,” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphthong

“Martyr” is Being Misused

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary gives its first definition of the word “martyr” as the one pertaining to faith:  “a person who is killed or who suffers greatly for a religion, cause, etc.”

Another description:  “Sacred Scripture attests to the courage of men and women who were willing to die as martyrs rather than renounce their faith or be unfaithful to God’s law.”1

It’s pretty straight forward.  A martyr is a person who is killed by someone else for refusing to say or do anything contrary to his beliefs.

Yet we see other views.  Some declare that a person is a martyr when he commits suicide in the process of killing others in the name of his religion.  Impossible.  Suicide is an objectively evil deed.  True, the state of that person’s soul is known only by God.2  However, no such act can be glorified by assigning the respected title of martyr to the perpetrator because “suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope and charity.  It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.”3  In addition:

“Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him.  It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.  We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls.  We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.  It is not ours to dispose of. [emphasis added]  Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.  It is gravely contrary to the just love of self.  It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.  Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.”4

So, the next time someone claims martyrdom for a suicide bomber or for anyone who is killed while murdering others in the name of a religion or other cause (including the mass murderer in Dallas last week5), don’t accept that distorted use of the word.

 

1 – “What is the Church’s Teaching on Martyrdom?” http://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-is-the-churchs-teaching-on-martyrdom/

2 – Summary of Paragraph 2283 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November, 2013.

3 – Paragraph 2325, Ibid.

4 – Paragraphs 2280-2281, Ibid.

5 – “The first black woman crowned Miss Alabama is standing by a controversial video in which she called the Dallas gunman a ‘martyr — but admits it was a poor choice of words.”  From “Former Miss Alabama Admits She Shouldn’t Have Called Dallas Gunman ‘a Martyr’… But Won’t Pull Video,” http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/17473-former-miss-alabama-admits-she-shouldnt-have-called-dallas-gunman-a-martyr-but-wont-pull, 7/12/2016.

Terrorists Aren’t Really “Responsible” for Their Crimes

In the 1960’s, when jet hijackings and other acts of terror became more common, it took a while for newscasters to learn how to report these events.  It’s hard to believe that, initially, reports of such evil acts were described that a certain terror group was “claiming credit” for their crimes.  This was eventually changed to “claiming responsibility” which we hear to this day.

But is this accurate? Those claiming to be truly responsible must have several qualities as listed in http://www.dictionary.com/browse/responsible.  One is to be answerable or accountable to someone.  Some terrorists claim to be answerable to a god, they believe, who wants torture and destruction for those who won’t discard their beliefs and submit to Islam (the meaning of Islam is “submission”).1  Interesting view of the Deity.

Being “responsible” also means “having the power to control and manage” along with being the cause of something.  Terrorists would qualify here.

But the similarities between terrorists and being responsible spiral downward with “having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable” plus “able to discharge obligations or pay debts.”  Terrorists may believe they are able to distinguish between right and wrong.  If so, then they had better hope their displays of ignorance regarding true virtue were caused by their upbringing and forces beyond their control.  Otherwise, their eternity is in severe jeopardy.

As far as paying debts are concerned, there is no doubt that they feel no obligation to atone for their crimes.  In fact, they believe acting heinously is somehow glorious.

The use of the word “responsibility” gives Islamic jihadists an undeserved air of decency.

Jihadists are not preoccupied in the civil spreading of spiritual good news.  For fourteen centuries, they have put a lot of energy in destroying all who disagree with them and establishing a worldwide caliphate.

Recommendation:  to avoid giving the slightest respect to terrorists, we should simply report that a specific group claims “involvement” with the atrocities.  Unfortunately, that word leaves out the horrible immorality of their acts and is too dignified for them.  There ought to be a more appropriate word.

 

1 – “The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.” There is no disagreement about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.”  https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110819104302AA2UHLT

 

“The Highest Standard of Care” Actually Kills Babies?

The language of the pro-death crowd comes from a never-ending fountain of a deception.  The latest affront to the dignity of human life was the statement that “After reviewing the supplemental application, the agency determined that Mifeprex is safe and effective when used to terminate a pregnancy in accordance with the revised labeling… Mifeprex is approved, in a regimen with misoprostol, to end a pregnancy through 70 days gestation.”

Following this morally sterile description of facilitating murder, we have:

“It means the health care providers can provide medication abortion according to the highest standard of care after more than 15 years of research and experience.”2

Killing never sounded so comforting.

 

1http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm

2 – Jerry Lawson CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, as quoted in the 3/31/2016 edition of the Kentucky Enquirer.

Is “Abortion Access” Going the way of “Gangster Economic Opportunity”?

“Abortion access in the U.S. has been vanishing in recent years.”  — Esme E. Deprez and Evan Applegate  in the February 29-March 6, 2016 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Euphemisms can be used to express unpleasant things in a polite manner such as euthanizing a pet in the final painful stages of a terminal illness… or they can be used to indicate the condoning of a heinous act.

Such is the case with the intrinsically evil act of abortion.  Bemoaning the loss of abortion “clinics” would be like being sadly reminiscent of the 1920’s and 30’s when the FBI cracked down on the gangster world’s ability to make a living by prosecuting their crimes and stopping bloodshed for profit.  In a macabre way, the criminals’ back-of-the-head executions were more humane than the chemical burning or bodily ripping apart methods used in killing the unborn.

The laws of a civil society must not give “access” to murder.  The taking of an innocent human life is despicable regardless of the way the term is phrased when hiding behind the flawed Roe v. Wade decision.

“Homophobia” is Contrived, so Where is “Adulterophobia”?

What is a “phobia”? It is “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”1

“Homo” is the prefix meaning “a genus of primates that includes modern humans (Homo sapiens) and several extinct species.2

Let’s Build a Word

Putting these two together, we arrive at “homophobia” which means an irrational fear of a genus of primates. If this exists, it would be exhibited as a fear of all people… probably not the originally intended meaning.

Could it be that this word is being misused by those who wish to discredit fellow humans who understand that sexual activity between two men or two women is intrinsically disordered? Even someone who does not follow a religion should know without a doubt that this behavior is contrary to Natural Law.  (Key point: it’s the behavior that must be rejected, not those involved.)

Adulterophobia?

Distortion of language is the weapon of choice for the politically correct crowd. Realizing this, it is surprising that they haven’t labeled those opposed to adultery, and its cousin fornication, as being “adulterophobes.” Perhaps it’s because this mortal sin has been so ingrained in our society that it’s considered standard procedure. This brings to mind a mid-1980’s episode of the television series “Murder She Wrote” when one of the main characters attempted to chide another by saying, “Infidelity isn’t exactly front page news anymore.”

Of course, even if “progressives” felt the need ridicule those men and women attempting to be virtuous, the term would still be absurd. These individuals do not have an irrational desire to avoid sexual relations outside of a valid marriage. They are simply respectful of the disruption this behavior causes to society, not to mention its eternal consequences. That is a reasonable thing to be concerned about!

A Charitable Response, not Enabling Behavior, is What’s Needed

By its origins, “homophobia” does not exist as social engineers claim. It’s merely a clever attempt to demean those who acknowledge “the big picture” into accepting a disordered lifestyle which goes against Natural Law as well as the Ten Commandments. Arbitrary social changes produce contrived terms which divert our focus from what should be our top priorities, in this case: on loving and assisting those afflicted with these tendencies into a better life— both now and, more importantly, beyond.

1 – taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phobia
2 – taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Homo