Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, December 19, 2011

Controlling Destiny

And... it's that time of year again!  As the NFL season winds down and commentators spend much of their time determining who can or can't make the playoffs, there is an expression used that just drives me nuts! They talk about a team "controlling their own destiny".

Um... no.

Wikipedia tells us that:
"Destiny or fate refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos."
Now... if your future is predetermined, then you don't control it.  It can be either predetermined or something you can control.  It cannot be both!

Bob Costas tried to set the record straight 3 years ago.

I truly think it helped for a year or so but now commentators are using the phrase once again and I am cringing!  I realize this is sports - not a more intellectual pursuit but we can't allow misuse of the language to be this widespread without speaking out!

Okay... I can't.

So...  when I hear a sportscaster make this error, I make note of the offender, get online and email the station or network with my grievance.  It won't change anything, but it does make me feel a little better.

Image of the Destiny Lab module courtesy of NASA

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