The third in an occasional series picking apart sporting terms that either make no sense at all, or are just plain misleading.
As a synonym for defence usually when talking about rugby Union. It is often used in such nonsensical drivel as “We need to bring our D today”, “we need to man up on D” and, most commonly, “awesome D”.
The notable thing about this intrusion is the path it has travelled to get to this stage, which is annoying enough in itself. The origins, of course, come from USA basketball, and the word defence (or defense as they misspell it).
Not only is the spelling incorrect, but so is the pronunciation, with the emphasis shifting to the first syllable. And this is where it started; in recent years we have heard commentators and players talking about working on DEfence. Quite why New Zealand rugby overage, with its proud history would think that would a be a good idea remains a mystery.
However, DEfence, said with a New Zealand accent, is quite hard to pull off, so it has quickly morphed into being just D. And it is everywhere; pre and post-match interviews with players and commentators leaping on board in some unholy bath of an assault on the English language.
Recently even Keith Quinn used it, proving that a memo has gone around. A small part of NZ sporting heritage died when that happened.
Its occasional use as a verb, as in D-up, twists the knife that little bit further.
The end day is when offence, and presumably O starts nibbling away that the perfectly sensible term attack. There have been hints of its use; you have been warned.