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Tricky Words in this week's OVI
           

Pridané: 28.6.2004
Autor: Andy BILLINGHAM
Kategória: 26/2004

I'll be showing my ignorance now, but I don't care. The only thing I understand about tennis is the origin of the special word for zero points: "love" (as far as I can believe, at any rate). When tennis was played in France a long time ago, spectators used to take hens' eggs to the matches to wave sarcastically at unsuccessful players, because the egg shape is similar to the zero figure.

The French word for egg is "l'oeuf" (say /löf/), which passed into English as "love". Slovak soccer spectators wave carrots at referees, suggesting they need to improve their eyesight - but then they shout rather different words. Otherwise, I can't understand the attraction of spending money to run around inside some white lines beating a little ball across an obstructive net, all in the burning sunshine, and developing a type of arthritis called "tennis elbow" - unless it's all about the beer afterwards.

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