How Much Do Legends Earn?

Posted: July 24, 2015 in Misuse of Words
Tags: , , ,

image Read the above question and see if anything comes to mind that could be wrong with it. Nothing? You’re right, until you start adding people to the equation. Here’s a fictitious example using a Football player but it could easily be another profession.

“Manchester United legend Quinton Fortune earned 10,000 pounds per week while playing for the Red Devils” The figure quoted may or may not be true but, for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume it is true.

This sentence, now it has been humanised, for want of a better description, has two misused and vastly overused words in it. The first one is “legend”. Quinton Fortune never was, and never will be, considered a legend by fans of Manchester United. It is amazing how many average and below average players in various sports are considered legends. Unfortunately, all the overuse of this word achieves is to devalue the genuine legends of sport. For example Don Bradman was, without doubt, a legend of Cricket. To then say that Dominic Cork, for example, is a Cricketing legend is insulting to Bradman. Not because Cork was no good but because he was never a legend.

The second misused and overused word is “earned”. I almost have a phobia about this word. It is incredible how often this word is used totally out of context. Using the example above, Quinton Fortune never actually “earned” 10,000 pounds per week in his life. There may have been a time when he was paid that amount, but it was never earned. Nurses, for example, earn about 20,000 pounds per year, right? Wrong! Nurses earn about 200,000 pounds per year, they get paid 20,000.

If you earn something, you merit it. The work you have put in should equal, roughly, the reward you take out. This is what earning is. There is nothing worse, in my book, than a headline stating that a player is being transferred from one club to another and that, at his new club, he will earn 250,000 per week. Sorry, nobody “earns” that amount.

Of course, the media are entirely to blame as it is them who decide that everybody who has donned any form of sports equipment is automatically deemed a legend, and that a footballer who trains for 2-3 hours per day for 4 days per week then spends up to a whole 180 minutes PER WEEK actually playing football “earns” 250,000 pounds per week, or whatever the amount happens to be. If the media are going to report what a sportsperson is being paid then at least use the correct words.


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