Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another Thing I'll Probably Never Get Over

In horse racing, the "quarter pole" is a marker that indicates a spot on the track one quarter of a mile from the finish line. tl;dr: When you pass the quarter pole, there's a quarter mile left in the race.

Yet every baseball season, after 40 games, a thousand articles come out telling us how teams have done over the first quarter of the season. And they all talk about the season being "at the quarter pole." Isn't it odd that they even know about this term, considering they don't know what it means? Even if you used it 3/4 of the way through the season, you'd be a little less wrong, but it would still be meaningless, as a pennant race is not a literal race. (But people probably don't know what that means in our society where the word "literally" means its opposite.)

I was going to comment over at each of these articles in question, but there are just too many, as you can see in the samples below.

Know what else these writers could use? Originality!

It's funny, I found articles going back decades where they refer to the first quarter of the baseball season as the quarter pole. I even found one from 1912 where they refer to first base as the quarter pole! I guess you can just use "quarter pole" as a quarter of the way through anything--I just wonder why "pole" is used. The type of race that involves an actual pole has it a quarter mile from the end, not any percentage from the beginning or end. I guess I'd be able to sleep at night if people would just say the "quarter mark."
This is keeping you up at night?
You mean day? That's what I call night.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States