Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Word Of The Week


In case you don't know, I like tennis. I used to play a little, but I mostly watch. This week I'm watching the men play in Monte Carlo, which is the first of three Masters Series tournaments on clay and the traditional start of the European clay season. There are a few clay court tournaments in the US just prior : one men's clay event in Houston (it's moving next year) and two women's clay events in Florida and South Carolina.

So, this past Sunday was the day of the women's final at the Charleston (Family Circle Cup) clay court tournament between Jelena Jankovic and Darina Safina. Jankovic won, 62 62 ; she had just beaten Venus Williams in the semi-final on Saturday in a great three set match.

During the final's second set, each player lost her first two serves. The score was tied, two all, but neither player had won her serve. It's not that unusual a situation, but interesting nonetheless, especially in a final. This brings us to this week's word.

The announcer said to his partner, "C'est un deuxième set bien décousu." Hmmmm, I wondered, and I was off to the dictionary.

The root word is coudre, to sew. Literally then, décousu means unstitched. Figuratively, as in the announcer's observation, it means illogical, disjointed, or not following right. In a tennis final, you don't expect so many breaks of serve in a row. It just doesn't follow. C'est décousu.


  1. Greetings,

    I read your most recent blog entry on tennis and I would like to speak with you about publishing some of your future articles on sport -- particularly the Fed Cup.


  2. Yes, c'est décousu! It has no continuity.

    Incidentally, for some reason, I can't see your photos of Nantes. I see a very thin empty rectangle. And if I click on it, I just get to see the name of the photo.
    Feel free to delete this comment ;)

  3. Thanks, claude, it looks like it's been fixed now. ;)


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