Journalists pride themselves on their headlines, particularly in the ‘tabloid press’. They use play on words and humour to catch our eyes.
On Saturday, my footy team Liverpool FC lost at home to West Ham United 3-0. The headline could have been ‘They were (truly) hammered’. Why? West Ham’s (a London Club) nickname is ‘the Hammers’ and ‘to hammer somebody’– as the word suggests means to ‘beat’ somebody.
Hence, Liverpool was well beaten by the Hammers. Did you notice the use of the PASSIVE here? A quick grammar session, eh? West Ham (WH) hammered Liverpool (L). (WH is the subject ‘doer’ of the hammering & L. is the object or ‘the receiver’ = active phrase) Or if you want to put the focus on L as ‘the receiver’ of the hammering you move L to the subject position and add a ‘be’ in the correct form + the past participle form (3rd column in verb tables = passive phrase), so Liverpool was (past) hammered (by West Ham) on Saturday. ‘to defeat’ and ‘to beat’ are the same. Relax, grammar over! Now for the quick quiz.
How could you report the following weekend games?
Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal Chelsea
1-2 Crystal Palace And what about the scores:
Tottenham 0-0 Everton
Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland.
Answer 1: Tottenham & Everton drew nil-nil; Answer 2: Aston Villa & Sunderland drew two all.
BUT did you know that in slang British English, ‘be hammered’ can also mean that somebody is very drunk. My headline is therefore a so-called ‘double entendre’. At least that would have explained their performance if they had been truly hammered, ha, ha!!!
QOFD How did your team do at the weekend?
to pride oneself on (sich mit etw brüsten), ‘tabloid press’ (Boulevardzeitung), to play on words (Wortspiele), hence (folglich), to draw nil-nil (Null zu Null unentschieden spielen), to draw two all (2 zu 2 unentschieden spielen), double entendre (Zweideutigkeit)