On this week’s episode, we featured a lineup of social media posts about Ohtani Shohei, who had an outstanding start to his first season playing for L.A.
According to a survey the Washington Post conducted in 2017 on popular sports, baseball sits at third place, after (American) football and basketball. I interpret that as a sign of the times: television demands games that unfold at a fast pace, and today it seems the human attention span is shorter than it has ever been. Baseball is a little old-fashioned in that regard.
Nonetheless, baseball is America’s pastime. Football season takes place over the colder autumn and winter months, while professional basketball is played on indoor courts. The sport that evokes the most stirring scene is baseball, which is played during a season when people want to go outside.
And while younger generations may not be taking to baseball as much as they once were, for American kids—who must contend with a mind-numbing, three-month-long summer vacation—the dramatic nature of the game, despite its laid-back pace, has an undeniable appeal. It is not hyperbole to say that sport of baseball is the beating heart of American culture.
This is evident in the language. In this week’s show we talked about a number of baseball-related English idioms, such as “take a rain check" and “out of one’s league", but there are many, many more. “Right off the bat" is one that comes to mind, well, right off the bat.
There are also many business and negotiation-related phrases. For example, a “ballpark figure" is an estimate. When you take up an offer or agree to work with someone, you “play ball", and if you decide it’s not worth your time, you “refuse to play ball". Taking a tough stance in a negotiation is to “play hardball", and to toss an interviewee easy questions is to “play softball". And when you succeed in setting up an initial appointment with a potential client, or have otherwise taken a successful first step, what you’ve done is “get to first base". (Incidentally, when talking about romantic relationships, this idiom refers to kissing.)
2.Light gray double-breasted suit by Universal Language
For more about this item, see LANGUAGE & EDUCATION #006.
3.Pink button-down shirt by Fabric Tokyo
This button-down shirt has pink pinstripes (a pattern of very thin stripes). The cuffs are mitered, and all of the buttons are made of silver-lipped pearl oyster.
Like the shirt I wore last week, I ordered this one at Fabric Tokyo in Shibuya. It is wrinkle-resistant, so all you have to do is straighten it out as you hang it up to dry. I recommend these shirts for anybody who has to wear dress shirts on a daily basis.
4.Cigar chukka boots by Red Wing
For more about this item, see LANGUAGE & EDUCATION #004.
5.Pink socks by Tabio
For more about this item, see LANGUAGE & EDUCATION #007.
6.Brown belt by Brooks Brothers
For more about this item, see FASHION & SHOPPING #008.
7.Brown glasses by Zoff
For more about this item, see FASHION & SHOPPING #007.