Sunday, April 21, 2019

Boxing day

Languages are archives of historical influences. Expressions from powerful forces in the past retain their strength in the language even if that experience is much less relevant today. One of these areas is boxing, a massively popular sport for many decades. This worldwide interest is exemplified by the 1.5 million people who watched the 3rd match between Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the Philippines in 1975, known as the thrilla from Manilla. Today, although boxing has lost its mass appeal, its terminology is no less relevant.

A person’s status as a heavy weight or light weight applies to the work place, reflecting the person’s influence. Even lower, being a punching bag means that the person is not getting any respect and is being abused. A ringside seat is a great place to watch any event or incident, especially one that is pleasurable for the observer.

During certain conversations, there may be some jabbing, which are short, rapid biting remarks, or occasionally a knockout blow, which decides the whole matter.  In defense, you shoudl stay on your toes and be alert because you may need to have a counterpunch ready, your own attack, something to put the aggressor on his heals and worried about his position. To do this, you may have to take one on the chin, bravely accept a blow to the face. However, it is not nice when someone undercuts you and weakens your basis or, even worse, gives you a low blow and fails to play according to the rules. which is below the belt, simply nasty.

The result of all these blows can vary. You can be on the ropes and in severe trouble. Worse, you can be down for the count and in danger of losing. Of course, you can get lucky and be saved by the bell and get a chance to recover. On the other hand, you could get knocked out and have to leave the situation.

So, whether you like the sport or not, boxing has enriched the English language. To clarify any misinterpretation, boxing day is a peculiarly English holiday occurring on the day after Christmas on which the servants were allowed to visit their families bearing gift boxes. It has nothing to do with beating up the servants or physical violence at all. With that clarification, I will now step out of the ring and end this post.

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