Thursday, 20 January 2011

Football focus: Is this Simon Heffer in disguise?

Most posts on football match reports usually slag off the manager, individual players or wind up opposing fans but on you get your use of English corrected.

Henry Winter on the Leeds versus Arsenal FA Cup tie last night: "The atmosphere was electric. Leeds fans became particularly enervated when Arshavin went to ground far too easily, prompting chants of "are you Walcott in disguise?". Then they began twirling white scarves above their heads, generating a marvellous sight to accompany the unebbing noise."

Underwater-adventurer posts on Winter's match report: Usage Note: Sometimes people mistakenly use enervate to mean "to invigorate" or "to excite" by assuming that this word is a close cousin of the verb energize. In fact enervate does not come from the same source as energize (Greek energos, "active"). It comes from Latin nervus, "sinew." Thus enervate means "to cause to become 'out of muscle'," that is, "to weaken or deplete of strength."

Maybe it's Simon Heffer in disguise.

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