So another Wimbledon’s finished, and despite always cherishing the annual opportunity sitting in front of my computer in my pants pretending to work whilst actually watching sport for two weeks solid, I’m absolutely delighted that it’s all over. But wh, you ask, y?
Firstly, because my best friend’s stubborn and repeated refusal ever to back Novak Djokovic continues to help maintain my wine habit, and secondly because I won’t have to hear the phrase “change-up” for another year. The phrase apparently derives originally from baseball - and it’s fair to say that it also derives me nutty.
Used liberally by all the commentators, a “change-up” seems to mean any variation in a player’s tactics during a rally (or indeed on a serve). I sort-of understand what they’re getting at, but occasionally get confused when the variation to which they’re referring takes pace off the ball; for instance, a slower serve, or a slice - these, logically, you’d think, would be a “change-down”.
I do feel for these commentators though; finding correct vocabulary must be a constant nightmare. Hmmm… if only the English language had a simple word for “variation” which could encompass both these senses; of speeding up the play, and of slowing it down. Oh hang on, I’ve got it! How about JUST SAYING “CHANGE”, FOR FUCK’S SAKE?