Have you ever heard expressions such as “curveball”, “home run” or “big hitter”? If you are a baseball fan you will be very familiar with them. But have you ever heard these in an everyday or business conversation? Let’s play ball!
According to the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the importance of sport is growing in modern society. But sport is more than a mere practice; it is a sub-culture with its own code and vocabulary that now permeates through to everyday social and business culture.
A quick glance at the list below will show some typical sporting terms used in both American and British English. Be sure to ask for a review on these when undertaking a business English course.
|Batting 1000||Baseball||Getting everything in a series of item right||American English|
|Catbird seat||Baseball||An advantagous position||American English|
|Cleanup hitter||Baseball||Someone who come in to solve a problem||American English|
|Curveball||Baseball||A surprise||American English|
|Home run||Baseball||A complete success||American English|
|Play ball||Baseball||To start||American English|
|Right off the bat||Baseball||Immediately||American English|
|Full-court press||Basketball||An all-out effort to exert pressure||American English|
|End run||US football||An evasive tactic||American English|
|To Knock Out||Boxing||To put out of comission||British English|
|Below the belt||Boxing||An unfair tactic||British English|
|A contender||Boxing||A challenger||British English|
|To score||Various||To succeed||British English|
|A game plan||Various||A strategy||British English|
|Locker talk||Various||Gossip, rumour||British English|
As you can see, sport terminology is now widely used in business situations. But while these expressions are easy to understand for native speakers, it is not necessarily the case for non-native English speakers who might struggle and be confused by hearing sport vocabulary in another context.
If you want to avoid misunderstanding with your foreign colleagues, it is advisable to follow a business English course. It will offer you the opportunity to go the distance and tackle language issues. If you don’t want to throw in the towel when dealing with foreign heavyweight clients or suppliers, it is crucial to master basic and more advanced business vocabulary.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010