Behind the 8 Ball


The English language is embellished by many sporting metaphors. I have charm in spades but I still can’t turn a trick. I can’t even get to first base. It’s just not cricket. I’m not even in the ballpark. Someone should get a yellow card or else I’ll kick it into the long grass…


These metaphors are precious and should not be abused or misused. For example, I’ve noticed an increase in the incorrect use of the phrase ‘behind the 8 ball’. It means the same as ‘snookered’. If the cue ball is behind the 8 ball (the black ball in pool) you are prevented from making a legal shot at any other ball. If you’re behind the 8 ball your opponent has put you there and you are unable to achieve your goal. It does not mean that you’re performing poorly or behind schedule. Let’s get our ducks in a row, people!

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