Makeover Monday: Not Saying “Groin”

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Sometimes I take things too seriously. This week’s Makeover Monday is a great example. It comes from a fivethirtyeight article about how the sports media refers to male professional athletes getting kicked in the groin, referencing a particular example from this year’s NBA playoffs. After Steven Adams was unceremoniously jumbled in the porker by Draymond Green, hundreds of journalisms gleefully took to the internet to write about it. The article, written by Kyle Wagner, takes a lighthearted look at the differences between the styles used by various sports media outlets, noting the proliferation of the word “groin” and surprising avoidance of the word “penis.” Wagner suggests that this is of some concern, possibly implying that journalists avoid terms the public will react to in disgust especially in an internet-medium where traffic is king. I have a hard time leaving it at that. Outside of having fun using phrases like “jumbled in the porker,” what I see when I look at this data set is a study in the evolution of language. The viz in Wagner’s article is heavy in text and settles for telling the story that “Groin” is used more than other terms. It is largely a crosstab, useful […]