Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Dat Is?

Yesterday I was reading a story with one of my clients about football, or baseball, I don't really remember which since I'm kind of a moron when it comes to sports. I mean, I cheer for the Saints for football, of course. During baseball season I cheer for the Boston Redsocks or the San Francisco Giants. But I don't actually, y'know, get all into it and I am still trying to figure out the whole point of football and what is a 1st down, anyway?

My client is reading this story about a water boy who brings the players water and towels and such when they have a break, or whatever. Anyway, my point of my senseless rambling is that my client came across the word "Gridiron."
I have never seen that word before. The client was reading to himself and he had a problem identifying one of the words after gridiron. I start reading the sentence aloud so he can tell me where he is having a problem. Only I mispronounce gridiron since I never heard the word when I was hearing. As a synesthete, the way I pronounce unfamiliar words largely depends on what color they are. Vowels are lighter, as is the letter D. Usually words tend to end with lighter colored letters, therefore, it seemed perfectly logical to pronounce it "Gridi ron."
Uh... that's not how you say it. My client laughed at me and he told me it was grid, like a graph, and iron, like iron your clothes. Ok ok, I get it.

That evening I'm telling the story to Mr. Pawpower and he tells me that I am mispronouncing the word "iron" which is the way I have always said it like "I Ron." So he had to explain to me that no it's not said like "I Ron" but like " I Earn." So I'm practicing how to say it correctly because now I'm paranoid. Also I have to teach the ironing lesson in a Daily Living Skills class very soon, and I don't want to look like an idiot because I can't say words correctly.
This entire experience makes me question why a sports field is called gridiron to begin with because it's made of grass, not iron and I don't think it's shaped like a grid, or maybe it is and I just don't know.


  1. It is called gridiron because of the field layout, but the field doesn't really look much like a grid. A gridiron is a type of grill used over an open flame, so it's rectangle with two long sides as a lot of shorter cross bars between the long sides (a grid made of iron- kind of like the racks in your oven). A football field has two long sides and a lot of shorter hashmarks perpendicular to the long sides for the yardage. This is different from a soccer/football field, so "gridiron football" is another name for American football. A soccer field only has markings at the center and near the goal, unlike the 10-yard marks up and down the length of a "gridiron" field.

    For a similar reason a baseball field is called a diamond, even though the entire fiels is more like a teardrop or the arc of a protractor. The lines on the ground struck someone as looking like a different object.

    The "I Ron" versus "I Earn" is a regional thing. Most Americans do say "I Earn", but "I Ron" is not necessarily wrong.

  2. Hmmmm, thank you Flow for explaining the Grid Iron thing because I was clueless as well. LOL