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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by new-pj, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. new-pj

    new-pj New Member

    I am a sports journalist student and was docked for my use of "unanswered runs" in a graded exercise. The reason was over abiguity of the term. I believe it only has one definition but I don't know where to find it.

    My definition: The amount of runs/points a team scores since the other team has scored, regardless of the score at that time, or how long it takes them to score.

    Example: Team A scores 4 runs, 4-0, Team A has 4 unanswered runs (AT THAT TIME) If the game ends, they still scored 4 unanswered runs. If Team B then scores 1, 4-1, Team B has 1 unanswered runs, although it is meaningless since they are behind. If Team B scores 6 more runs, 7-4, they will have scored 7 unanswered runs, not 3.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction as to the definition or general usage?

  2. unanswered points = points that aren't answered

    Team A scores 17 points, team B cannot score any points the rest of the game

    seventeen unanswered points

    Team B scores a point in the last minute of the game, those 17 points are no longer unanswered

    is your question now answered?
  3. new-pj

    new-pj New Member

    No. Your scenario is straightforward and self explanatory.

    Team A scores 4. Team B then scores 10. Game ends. How many unanswered points?
  4. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest


    Your scenario was straightforward and self-explanatory.

    Team A's 4 runs were answered by Team B's 10 runs. Therefore, 10 unanswered points.
  5. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Keep in mind, we're not stating this as the way "unanswered" is USUALLY used in sportswriting.

    We're stating this as the CORRECT way it should be used.

    It's one of the most MIS-used terms in sports jargon.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    The best solution is to not use the exceptionally weak "unanswered."
  7. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Just don't use it. It's a shitty-ass TV term foisted on us by ESPN. I'd have docked you too.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Yes, your professor's point is that "unanswered" is an example of a term used wrongly so often as to make it something that you never use.

    Whether you have used it correctly or not is largely immaterial. But cheer up. This means you have a good professor who wants you to write well. Embrace that, and I'm sure you'll be fine.
  9. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    "Consecutive" might be a better word to use than "unanswered" in that sense.
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Unanswered is fine if you're doing a radio/TV broadcast (or maybe a live blog), because at the time they've yet to be answered. Otherwise, stick with "straight" or "consecutive" or "went on a 10-0 run".
  11. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I only use it if the game ends on a run.

    Example: Team A was trailing team B 4-2, but "Team A scored three unanswered goals to end the game and win 5-4."

    Or, a team can scored unanswered points in a period or quarter.

    The Buffalo Bills scored 14 unanswered points in the second quarter.

    The Ottawa Senators scored three unanswered goals in the first period.

    But really, I'm with sportschick. Try not to use it.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, I'm happy bashing the WWL as anybody, but "unanswered" was around long before they were.

    I'm not as much as a hardass on this, although I agree it's not the best term.

    To me, if you consider a game story "real time" -- hang with me here -- then at the time you speak of those points, they are currently unanswered.

    Four seconds later might come an answer. But if team A leads 4-0, and team B takes a 10-4 lead, then strictly as a matter of reader understanding, "10 unanswered points" tells them what happened.

    Consecutive is better.
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