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Grand Slam

Grand Slam

Postby Audiendus » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:38 pm

A 'Grand Slam' in tennis used to mean the winning of all the four major championships (Australian, French, British and US) in the same calendar year. It was also sometimes used to mean the winning of any four consecutive majors over two different calendar years.

Recently, however, the term has been used to mean a single major championship, or the winning thereof. This is absurd and unnecessary, leading to ambiguity between the old and new senses of 'Grand Slam'. Why not simply use the term 'major' (as a noun) for the latter sense, as in golf?
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Postby Slava » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:33 pm

I don't follow sports much, so I'm not aware of this. Can you provide an example?

I agree with the principle, though. How can you have a grand slam in one of anything? A really whopping home run might be called a grand slam, but it's not a Grand Slam unless the bases were loaded.
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Grand Slam

Postby Audiendus » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:27 pm

'Single' sense: Roger Federer won his 16th Grand Slam when he became the 2010 Australian Open champion. (Meaning: it was the 16th time he had won one of the four major championships.)

'Multiple' sense: The last man to achieve a Grand Slam was Rod Laver, in 1969. (Meaning: he won all four major championships in that year.)

One often sees the terms 'Grand Slam tournament', 'Grand Slam championship', 'Grand Slam title' etc, but that creates more confusion. Suppose a player wins all four titles one year and only two the next: how many 'Grand Slam titles' has he won altogether? One? Four? Six?

Very confusing! :?
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Postby Slava » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:04 pm

"I see," said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw.

They've dropped the word "event" from the end. I agree, that's confusticating.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:27 am

Actually, there are three definitions of "Grand slam" in the dictionaries:
1. The bidding and winning of all the tricks during the play of one hand in bridge and other whist-derived card games.
2. Sports The winning of all the major or specified events, especially on a professional circuit.
3. Baseball A home run hit when three runners are on base.

So the Federer example is an example of poor writing since the sentence cannot be properly understood without extra discourse real world knowledge of Federer's current situation. And if the reader had that knowledge, he/she wouldn't need to read the article in the first place.
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Postby misterdoe » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:03 am

bnjtokyo wrote:3. Baseball A home run hit when three runners are on base.


Provided, of course, that all four runners cross home plate. Being a lifelong New York Mets fan, I'm used to disappointments of just about every kind, but until the 1999 playoffs I'd never seen someone hit a home run with the bases loaded and only one run officially scores. Here's the Wikipedia article: Grand Slam Single

And the batter was then-Mets third baseman Robin Ventura, probably the only man on the current all-time list of top 20 grand slam hitters who needs to buy a ticket to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame...
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:48 am

Thanks, mrdoe for the home run single. Until I read the article, I jumped to the conclusion that the game was over when the tie breaking run crossed the base. Fascinating.
One could better write, "with 16 majors, he had won 4 'grand slams,'" thus by quotes signifying a different sort of grand slam.
I don't remember hearing "grand slam" referring to only one championship. May have missed it.
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Re: Grand Slam

Postby blue.bear » Wed May 28, 2014 7:19 am

I'm wondering, did someone won all four tournaments in one year?
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Re: Grand Slam

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed May 28, 2014 1:37 pm

See above: Rod Laver in '69. A similar argument went on in golf a few years ago when Tiger Woods had one four majors over two years.
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Re: Grand Slam

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed May 28, 2014 1:38 pm

Oh, almost forgot. Welcome blue.bear! Glad to see you jump right in and post soon after joining. Keep it up!
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