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May I have a word about nailing things on and simplifying cricket

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

I’m pleased that it’s not just me who gets annoyed by the ease with which ghastly words and phrases enter the language and then become commonplace.

Paul Bisson, from Shrewsbury, got in touch recently, steam justifiably emerging from his ears: “Two of the worst neologisms are ‘uptick’ (ie increase, eg: ‘There has been an uptick in sales’) and ‘get-go’ (ie start, eg: ‘Government policy has been disastrous from the get-go’). Why is it not possible for people to use words that already exist and are understandable by most people?” To which I would say hear, hear. To his pair of horrors, I would like to add the following: Boris Johnson said last week: “August 16 is nailed on, there’s never been any question of a review date.” If he means it is a certainty, I do wish he’d say so.

Anyway, I do hope you’re enjoying the Olympics. If only I could say the same. To those competitors and commentators who insist on using the words podiuming and medalling, I would just like to say that there are no such words in civilised society and I’d be grateful if you would remember this.

Still, it’s really no better in the world of cricket. The full horror of the Hundred is with us and commentators have been told to be careful about using terms such as yorker, googly and bouncer for fear that they might not sit easily with the new audience the “sport” is aimed at. Mmm. The report goes on to say: “Sky and the England and Wales Cricket Board have launched what they describe as an ‘industry-first augmented reality experience’ in which fans will be able to download avatars of the players on the Hundred or Sky app.” I’m not sure what John Arlott would have made of a downloadable avatar, but I’ve got a fairly shrewd idea.

• Jonathan Bouquet is an Observer columnist

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