Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Packing Up My Olympic Vocab

The Olympics have ended. I'm going to make another post about them anyway.

It amazes me how natural all the Olympic terms feel even though I only unpack them every four years. Usually, if I ever use the word "pike" I'm referring to a fish, or a large medieval lance. But everyone knows that during the Olympics the only meaning of "pike" is a reference to the style of somersault in diving.

In swimming, we suddenly understand that "splits" doesn't refer to a painful stretch, but to the time elapsed when the swimmer reaches each end of the pool.

Cycling apparently takes place in a "velodrome". I wonder how these cyclists ever practice because I've never seen a velodrome outside of the Olympics.

The work "skull" normally has a negative connotation to me as I think of death and skeletons and murder mysteries. The other Aussie definition of the term involves much alcohol consumption and is equivalent to the US word "chug".  But the Olympics redeem the term with the rowing.  Sculling is apparently a style of rowing, an oar, and the name of the boat! (Thanks Wikipedia!) Now see if I can remember that in Rio.

Sometimes we hear words we have no idea what they're referring to, but they just sound cool. For me, it's the "circle runner" in handball. I know nothing about handball, except that it's an Olympic sport, but I think I'd like to say that I'm "circle runner", unless of course it's a synonym for "running in circles" then it just sounds like your lost!

On the other hand, it doesn't matter how many times you refer to Soccer as Football it still doesn't sound right.  Another one that's odd for me is hearing ESPN talk about the men's 400m medley relay. In my Australian experience it's always referred to as the 4x100 relay.

All this is a good reminder that Christianity also has its own "technical" language that we often throw around and expect everyone to understand it. This video gives a good demonstration:

If you're not familiar with these terms, here's a quick primer just for you.

If you're looking for some serious lists of "church words" and their definitions, I've put together a few links here, here, and here. Or you could just google "Christianese".

Just don't wait 4 years to try them out!!

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