Friday, February 15, 2008

Sports Metaphor Misuse Alert

I have read three articles today mentioning Hillary Clinton's big "gamble" on the Texas and Ohio primaries. I agree she needs to win these states, by a substantial margin, to keep her hopes alive but where exactly does gambling come into play. Gambling implies some sort of choice and she really has none. It does not mean engaging in an effort with little chance of success (except thats how the headline writers are using it.)

You could argue that Rudy Giuliani "gambled" on the Florida primary because he chose to ignore those that came before it- but here what are Hillary's alternative choices for winning the nomination- inventing some other big states to win? kidnapping super delegates? a coup?

Its like saying that teams in the 7th game of the World Series are "gambling" on the outcome. Taking a chance cannot mean exercising your only available option.

The better sports cliche would be "make or break" or "must win."


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