Olympic Terminology: Fletchings at the Ready

Here’s a translation app we could all use for the Olympics: something to explain all those technical terms in sports that we really only pay attention to once every four years.

TV commentators love to use them (“Oh gosh, she’s windmilling”).

On the Big Show, we had a little quiz involving four such words:

Fletchings: In archery, theses are the small colorful wings on the end of arrows. They are the modern plastic version of feathers.

Eggbeater: In synchronized swimming, the eggbeater kick is a preferred method for treading water. The swimmer is in a sitting position.

Randolph: in trampolining, a forward somersault with two and a half twists.

Bonk: in triathlon and some other sports, it means hitting the wall, or running out of steam.

Other items in this marathon of a pod:

A new mobile translation app to help Olympics volunteers communicate with athletes and tourists

If you’re a retailer in London, the thing you fear most is a visit from the Olympic Brand Police.

London’s Poetry Parnassus, which brought together poets from around the world. More on that here.

Reading Dickens in installments online: the digitization of all of Charles Dickens’ novels in their original serial form. Project Boz, as it’s called, is based at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. And I didn’t include it in the pod, but here’s a Big Show story about the controversy over the closure of the Charles Dickens museum for most of 2012– not only the year of the Olympics in London but also the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth.

Boris Johnson, the exuberant mayor of London and author of Johnson’s Life of London argues that the English language wouldn’t have become nearly so inventive had it not been for London and its restless, diverse citizenry.

Also, here’s a previous pod with a couple of items on cockney rhyming slang.


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