Once upon a time, someone somewhere used a new word or phrase to describe something related to sports that was creative, illuminating and/or humorous. Through the years, that word became embedded in sports journalism’s lexicon, used – perhaps, tirelessly – numerous times. So should this word be considered a cliché, a worn phrase or just another vocabulary word, no different than other parts of speech? At what point should writers eschew such words and phrases?
Let’s look at the word workhorse, typically used in football stories to describe a running back who carries the ball a great number of times across a game or entire season, figuratively plowing through defenders and hauling the ball across the field. On some levels, workhorse appears to be a creative, appropriate analogy. Such phrases, though, are often misappropriated and frequently overused by writers who prefer the easy descriptor instead of a more apt word. Continue reading “Even Spock might agree: Clarity is the key to solid sportswriting”