Points for trying
Posted: 09 October 2007 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anyone know the actual origin of this phrase? It’s a phrase used everyday but I can’t seem to find its origins anywhere. Technically you don’t get points for anything except when you succeed so it seems a strange one. I have a friend who claims it is a rugby saying, in which case you do ineed get points for trying… I’m not buying it. Any other theories?

Julz

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Posted: 09 October 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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When I was at school sitting maths exams, we were always told to show our working; that way, if you got the wrong answer because of a single error in the calculation, you could still be awarded marks for the parts of the calculation that were done correctly.

And that’s what I think of when I hear the expression “points for trying”.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I second nomis. In my (SE English, private) school we called it “marks for effort” but the sense was identical, and I - and others educated in the same environment - sometimes use that phrase in exactly the same context as others use “points for trying”.

You don’t get “points for trying” in rugby, any more than you do in Association football or American football. You only get points for a try, or for tries. And even if rugby people did call getting the ball over the line “trying” (which they don’t and never have), that would be a wholly implausible and unnecessary thing to go around saying.  It would amount to saying “you get points for scoring”, which is something that people tend to kind of know without being told.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I too agree with nomis.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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This phrase makes sense to me simply because you don’t normally get points for trying; that’s why it makes sense to point it out when you do.

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