Far be it from me to typically inject myself into Canadian politics, but a Canadian politician has injected himself into American sports so here we are.
David Adams Richards, a Canadian senator, went on quite the journey in the Senate chamber earlier this week. The upshot: American commentators are ruining Canada’s national sport.
OK, I’m listening, I guess. Go on.
“Tragically, Canadians are often forced to listen to American play-by-play commentators if we want to watch U.S.-based teams in the first or second round,” Richards said. “I know, my fellow senators, that all of this seems petty, but nothing is petty about our game, nor the language we used to illuminate it. Our language enhanced and enriched every aspect of the play because our commentators actually knew what was happening on the ice.”
Hmm. OK, what seems to be the specific problem? Again, per the National Post:
Whatever happened to “dipsy-doodling,” a Canadian phrase he said came from knowing “the motion of the ice”? It’s hockey sweaters, not jerseys. Dressing rooms, not locker rooms, he said. “We didn’t deny a shot; we actually saved it. We didn’t delay at the blue line; we stopped at the blue line. Nor did we take a wrister. What an insulting word. We took a wrist shot. Nor did we take a slapper. What an insulting word. We took a slapshot — and not the movie.”
Richards, a New Brunswick novelist of significant acclaim, is a stickler for language. I can appreciate that, but this all feels like a pretty silly dipsy-doodle away from more serious issues.
Then again, I don’t have to listen to Canadian broadcasts of the NFL or MLB. Maybe I’d feel differently if they were butchering or altering the languages inherent to both of those sports?