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#1 ian senior

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:23

Today's Independent carries an article about current McLaren whizzkid, Lewis Hamilton. Nice guy by all accounts, even if he is completely posessed with motor racing to the exclusion of everything else (not that there is too much wrong with that, but you know what I mean), and certainly a very promising driver.

But one thing that really bugged me about him was his use of the phrase "for sure". Not only did he use it several times to emphasis a point he was making (that is JUST permissible) but twice he started a sentence using those words. I almost screamed. I first noticed this in motor racing in about 1980, when it was a phrase used by non-native English speakers, usually to explain why they hadn't done very well in practice or the race e.g "for sure I could have won today" (which should have been followed by the words "if I hadn't crashed my McLaren again" - no prizes for guessing who I was thinking of).

I'm no expert on the language, but to me it doesn't quite seem like good English, even colloquial English. I don't know why, but "for sure" annoys the hell out of me - and that's for sure.

Rant over.

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#2 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:51

You might as well add "YOU KNOW".

#3 Gary Davies

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:57

Ha! Annoys me too, to be sure, to be sure! It’s an F1 thing.

Here are a few rapidly gathered ‘for sures’ just from assorted press conferences at Silverstone this last weekend. They all happen to be courtesy of the current World Champion but he is one of many with a predilection for those two infuriating little words.

“...and for sure, we need to keep doing things like this.”

“I had a little bit too much understeer and for sure, during the first and second laps I wasn't quick enough."

"...but tomorrow it will be interesting to watch the race for sure."

"We did some set-up changes that for sure helped the car."

"...but for sure, we have our main opponents very close to us."

And for his crescendo: “I think McLaren can be a problem tomorrow for sure, for us, we've been quick compared to other people, but we are in similar conditions more or less to all the cars. I think they are competitive and for sure tomorrow, in the long runs, they are normally quite constant as we saw always in the past and they take care of the tyres so for sure they will be, tomorrow for us.”

#4 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:05

Originally posted by Vanwall
Ha! Annoys me too, to be sure, to be sure! It’s an F1 thing.

Here are a few rapidly gathered ‘for sures’ just from assorted press conferences at Silverstone this last weekend. They all happen to be courtesy of the current World Champion but he is one of many with a predilection for those two infuriating little words.

“...and for sure, we need to keep doing things like this.”

“I had a little bit too much understeer and for sure, during the first and second laps I wasn't quick enough."

"...but tomorrow it will be interesting to watch the race for sure."

"We did some set-up changes that for sure helped the car."

"...but for sure, we have our main opponents very close to us."

And for his crescendo: “I think McLaren can be a problem tomorrow for sure, for us, we've been quick compared to other people, but we are in similar conditions more or less to all the cars. I think they are competitive and for sure tomorrow, in the long runs, they are normally quite constant as we saw always in the past and they take care of the tyres so for sure they will be, tomorrow for us.”



“Like...and for sure, we need to keep, Like... doing things like this.”

“Like...I had a little bit too much understeer and for sure, during the first and second laps like... I wasn't quick enough."

"Like..but tomorrow it will be interesting to watch the race for sure."

"Like ...We did some set-up changes that for sure helped the car."

"Like ...but for sure, we have our main opponents like...very close to us."

#5 HistoricMustang

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:21

You gentlemen should have grown up with Mr. Richard Petty where every other sentence contains..."just one of them racing deals", for sure. :drunk:

Henry

#6 RS2000

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:49

Doesn't "for sure" go back to Emerson Fittipaldi when first in F1?

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:51

I believe Emerson Fittipaldi started this trend. He was the first person I ever heard use this particular phrase, back in the early '70s. Presumably, drivers that followed him up the ladder would have heard the great man use these words during interviews, and copied him. Now they all use this (and other) cliches, in a similar manner to football's "game of two halves", "over the moon" and "sick as a parrot".

Edit: Sorry, 'RS', you beat me to it.

#8 Gary Davies

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 10:50

RS, such admirable meticulousness. Two posts, differing but subtly in their wording, ensuring that communication is both total and unerring.  ;)

#9 HiRich

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 11:52

I have vague recollections of Jacques Laffite using it (or did he have another catchphrase?), and Alan Prost (mangled into a nasal "vujur"). I definitely remember Nigel Roebuck commenting on someone's regular use of it, and I'm pretty sure he was talking about Prost.

That might explain how it got from Emmo into Ronspeak, and picked up up by the impressionable nipper.

#10 Bonde

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 15:31

Ian,

Yes, I did notice one G. Berger using "for sure" a lot in his day...for sure...

The expressions that really grate my ear are: "like" [is it or isn't it], "I mean" [yes, we do know it is just your opinion anyway] and "and stuff" [what "stuff"?"]

[/contributory rant over]

#11 ghinzani

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 15:36

Originally posted by HiRich
I have vague recollections of Jacques Laffite using it (or did he have another catchphrase?), and Alan Prost (mangled into a nasal "vujur"). I definitely remember Nigel Roebuck commenting on someone's regular use of it, and I'm pretty sure he was talking about Prost.

That might explain how it got from Emmo into Ronspeak, and picked up up by the impressionable nipper.


Prost gets my vote too - he said it all the time, via his nose. And then all the French drivers took it up and it spread liek widfire. For sure. or Foreshore. Where the little sea creatures live.

#12 Twin Window

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 15:40

"...kind of, y'know..."

:mad:

#13 LotusElise

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 15:41

I believe it has been a favourite of Continental rally drivers over the years, too. The Scandinavians don't seem to say it as much.

#14 Frank S

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:08

My experience is that non-native English speakers are especially prone to latch on to those little time-buyers when they learn the language from their classmates rather than from their teachers. Then, the use of such phrases becomes self-propogating, kinda, like, y'know, coin of the realm in any exchange, f'sure.

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Yer Darn Tootin'

#15 Paul Taylor

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:29

There's a lady racing driver from Holland called Sheila Verschuur :p

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#16 RTH

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:35

People who say "It's a very unique car " !

#17 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:48

I don't care what Lewis says - the kid can race, fast! He and his family are all lovely people and popular around the paddock. A very exciting talent and a good bet to be the next Englishman to win a Grand Prix. He is very brave and has his feet firmly on the ground.

If you do not believe the hype, make sure you watch race 2 of the Silverstone GP2. It should be on ITV this coming Saturday lunchtime. He started 8th and won. Everybody I met was talking about it afterwards at the Grand Prix (and at the Moss statue unveiling at Mallory yesterday), particularly discussing his move going three abreast into Maggots at 170mph and coming out infront to overtake Piquet and Piccione.

#18 Mallory Dan

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:50

"In my opinion..." well of course it is or you wouldn't bloody say it . The one word that really gets me though is, "appropriate".

#19 doc knutsen

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 16:50

Originally posted by RTH
People who say "It's a very unique car " !


Totally unique, or just partially? ;)

For me, the use of the word "stunning". Sift through some adverts dealing with classic racing- or sports car, and every other one is guaranteed to be "stunning". Or even completely stunning. Or totally stunning. And it is not a non-native-English speaker thing, either.....for sure.

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#20 ghinzani

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 17:09

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
. Everybody I met was talking about it afterwards at the Grand Prix (and at the Moss statue unveiling at Mallory yesterday), particularly discussing his move going three abreast into Maggots at 170mph and coming out infront to overtake Piquet and Piccione.


Saw that on Eurosport earlier, not only is the boy technically good he proved there he has the cojones for the job - proper kart racing move that, for sure! Slightly OT but I wonder how much the press will cotton onto his ethnicity when he gets to F1? For me it should'nt be an issue but I guess it will be easy meat for the lazy journos who need to fill pages.

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 18:09

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
There's a lady racing driver from Holland called Sheila Verschuur :p
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No doubt known to French Australians as Beaut Sheila Verschuur

#22 petefenelon

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 21:06

Niki Lauda was saying it in the 70s, I think they all got it from him.

#23 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 01:04

Words and phrases that are beginning to annoy the hell out of me....iconic, passionate, upscale, at the end of the day,....

My recollection of Fittipaldi's most over-used word: fantastic.

And the most worn-out concept of this still-young century: retro. Try to think of something as astounding as the E type was in 1961, boys, instead of just mocking it. (And that goes double for the Miura).

Jack

#24 Barry Boor

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 06:46

Actually, I'm surprised no-one has mentioned actually.....

#25 doc knutsen

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 07:22

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Actually, I'm surprised no-one has mentioned actually.....


Obviously....;)

#26 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:22

I've always associated "For sure" with Prost. My interpretation of it is that it is an equivalent of the French expression "Bien Sur".

Nowadays, many English speaking sportsmen use it - and not just racing drivers too.

#27 David McKinney

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 08:34

What doesn’t seem to have been mentioned yet is that the saying “that’s for sure” used to be in usage by English-speaking people (though perhaps not those in the UK) in the 1970s or earlier
The following is from the Everly Brothers’ 1960 No.1 “Cathy’s Clown”

Don't want your love any more
Don't want your kisses that's for sure
I die each time I hear the sound
Here he comes, that's Cathy's clown


But, like Eric, I first remember hearing the term without the "that's" from M Prost

#28 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:59

Americans have used "sure" for a long, long time as an alternative to "yes".

The Irish have also using accused of using "sure" as a prefix as in "Sure and I'll be droppin' into the pub later on" - althjough more in Hollywood films than in real life.

#29 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:51

Originally posted by David McKinney

No doubt known to French Australians as Beaut Sheila Verschuur


Eue Contraire David...we would all agree that Sheila is a very nice looking young lady...and hope she is as fast as she looks :up:

#30 RTH

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:13

"To be honest ".......so are we to conclude the speaker normally is not ?

#31 Barry Boor

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:19

What a load of Victor Meldrews we really are! :lol:

#32 roger ellis

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:25

Whatever......

#33 philippe7

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:45

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
I've always associated "For sure" with Prost. My interpretation of it is that it is an equivalent of the French expression "Bien Sur".


"Bien sur" would rather translate to "of course" , whereas by "for sure" I guess they mean "surely".

Actually , the term "Pour Sur" ( direct translation of "for sure" ) does exist in french, although it's considered as old-fashioned or colloquial in France.....however, I do think it is frequently used - and considered correct - in belgian french ( and I hope I'm not going to be burnt down by the belgian members of this forum ! )

#34 E.B.

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 17:44

As annoying as any of these expressions is when somebody says "the term 'genius' is much overused these days, but......" suffixed by an immediate inappropriate application of the word to some muppet.

#35 Vicuna

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 19:52

Go figure...as you do

#36 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 21:44

Well, honestly , I hadn't given it much thought, but basically , I don't care, that's for sure

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 23:21

Am I bovvered?

Well, you know, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, speaking personally (as you do), I have to say that, in the long run, you know, when it's early doors I think that's meaningful.

#38 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:55

..... can someone put a peg in the ground and stop moving the goal posts, at this point in time ?

#39 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 05:33

This thread is evolving, for sure. :blush:

Ahem! There's a phrase with some currency Down Under. It started, as far as I can recall, about two years ago amongst politicians. It smartly migrated to media people, then to captains of industry and its ubiquity is such that it now extends right down to Product Managers!

It's "Going forward". Some wag suggested its use should be restricted to bus and truck drivers but of course, all those using it find they prefer it to the humble "in future".

Did it start in Oz, is it unique to Oz, or is my insularity showing?

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#40 Vicuna

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:45

Originally posted by Vanwall
This thread is evolving, for sure. :blush:

Ahem! There's a phrase with some currency Down Under. It started, as far as I can recall, about two years ago amongst politicians. It smartly migrated to media people, then to captains of industry and its ubiquity is such that it now extends right down to Product Managers!

It's "Going forward". Some wag suggested its use should be restricted to bus and truck drivers but of course, all those using it find they prefer it to the humble "in future".

Did it start in Oz, is it unique to Oz, or is my insularity showing?


Yes yes yes yes yes

It has made NZ - for sure. At this time.

Going bloody forward. :drunk:

A friend of mine used it in the pub the other night. We were with other people otherwise I would have slapped him...at that point in time.

As one does...

#41 David McKinney

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:01

Originally posted by Vanwall
Did it start in Oz, is it unique to Oz, or is my insularity showing?

It's been a regular item of UK managementspeak for several years. I presume it was imported from the US (Harvard?)

#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:58

My company's new Ops Manager is very fond of going forward. He's Welsh, if that means anything.

I miss "Let's run that up the flagpole and see who salutes it ...." For sure.

#43 hyperbolica

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:14

Originally posted by doc knutsen
Obviously....;)


Obviously is, to be honest, actually one of the most abused words, for sure.

#44 lfcjari37

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:28

Lets go for a stirfry in my think-wok is a good one........ :drunk:

#45 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:41

That's a Gus Hedges-ism ....

http://www.imdb.com/...t0098781/quotes

#46 lfcjari37

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:43

Well spotted sir...the greatest corporate speak machine to walk the planet:)

#47 Vicuna

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 09:47

Originally posted by hyperbolica


Obviously is, to be honest, actually one of the most abused words, for sure.


Absolutely

#48 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 13:48

Originally posted by Vitesse2 He's Welsh, if that means anything.[/B]


Don't think I didn't notice that, mun! ;)

#49 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 14:11

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#50 Vicuna

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 16:57

Originally posted by Vitesse2
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Where is Fines?