It’s pretty easy to make me happy. Give me a kitty to pet, put on an old episode of Star Trek, take me to a baseball game, or let me rant about grammar. I found a letter to the editor today in the Star Tribune, our paper here in Minneapolis, that made me smile because it combines two of my favorite things: baseball and grammar. I felt I just had to share it with you. D.L. Struckman of Watertown, South Dakota, wrote it. I don’t know who that is, but s/he’s pretty awesome.
Here it goes:
I’m looking forward to the Minnesota Twins having an exciting year. However, there are several things I dislike hearing or seeing during the games. One is the “Circle Me Bert” signs. Where or what is your “Bert”? Is that similar to saying, “Circle me chin”? Perhaps those with the signs don’t know you are to punctuate a noun of direct address. “Circle me, Bert” would show that you did listen in English class.
Another irritation is announcers’ use of “hit” for “bat.” When you say that Willingham, for instance, will “hit” next, how do you know that? I’m sure that he will bat next, but he has only about a 30 percent chance of hitting.
Also, the ball usually passes over the center edges of the plate, not the corner. It would have to come at a really sharp angle to cross one of the corners. Think of how many syllables you could save during a game by saying “edge” instead of “corner.”
For more baseball and language, here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about baseball slang. Enjoy: https://grammarpartyblog.com/2011/04/13/baseball-slang-is-in-my-wheelhouse/