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"Wins" and "victories"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sirvaliantbrown, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Stupid question. In the first chapter of his memoir "Into My Own", Roger Kahn writes about Stanley Woodward, a grammarian, yelling at him for using the word "win" in sentences like "Smith earned his 20th win of the season." Woodward would yell that it should be "20th victory" instead.

  2. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    "Win" should be used as a verb and not a noun. It's one of those things that has gradually been accepted over time, however. Still, to me, it reads bad, and I am not one to which grammer me learns well.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Here's the thing...

    I yield to no person on anal retentiveness regarding things like this; "win" is the verb and "victory" is the noun. And I still change a lot of "wins" to "victories" although I no longer harp on others to do so.

    But A) it's a losing battle, and even I allow it in regular copy when you're talking about victories or whatever alot in a string of sentences and you don't want to be repetitive, but more important B) "wins" is the standard term when it comes to pitchers and what they earn, so I actually stopped changing this one a long time ago.

    But technically, Stanley was right, and god love him for it.
  4. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Yes, yes and yes, but that's why some poor bastard had his lede changed to "Oklahoma, where the victories come sweeping down the plain."
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    And the foul!
  6. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    After being indoctrinated about not using win as a noun and host as a verb, I had a tryout at a less fussy paper. When I returned, the SE asked me how it went and I said, "I used win as a noun and host as a verb, and it felt good."
  7. Beach_Bum

    Beach_Bum Member

    used to drive me nuts, and I still don't like it, but I have come to let it go. Have bigger things to worry about ... that battle is lost.
  8. Bayswater

    Bayswater New Member

    I could NEVER understand what was wrong with host as a verb.
  9. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Win has come into acceptance as a noun only because desk guys could fit the word into a one-column head easier than victories.
  10. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    "Host" as a verb, thank God, has finally come into acceptance, in general usage and in the great AP bible. The prohibition was one of the most asinine things ever.

    Generally speaking, the best style decisions come down to clarity, accepted usage or useful distinctions. Those editors who oppose perfectly clear or idiomatic prose -- and, yeah, I'm talking about folks who chafe at "victory over the Rangers" -- are rigid for rigidity's sake.

    A former boss, a guy I really admire, once told me that every word in the English language ought to mean only one thing. In that regard, he was an enemy of good writing, not a proponent of it.
  11. Full of Shit

    Full of Shit Member

    As a metaphor for this issue, I picture Kenn Finkel as one of those Japanese soldiers hiding out on some remote Pacific island, refusing to give up on World War II. "I'll stop harping on this when you pry my copy of Strunk & White from my cold, dead fingers."

    Can you put "Beater of Dead Horses" on a business card?
  12. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    I was told, by one of the best editors in the business, that the W-L in standings, pitcher's records, etc., stood for games won and lost, not wins and losses.

    Either way, it's one of my quirks that I have. I'm not very consistent, however, because I love using host as a verb and see no problem with that. I just think "the Rangers hit four home runs in the win" sounds bad.
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