untracked
Posted: 12 October 2007 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I see this term used a lot in Sports writing, as in, “I’m just trying to get my game untracked.”

I assumed that it was a misuse of “on track,” which to me would make more sense.

OED (ask Oxford) defines ‘untracked’ as “• adjective (of land) not previously traversed; without tracks.”

My very handy - but not necessarily authoritative - Apple Computer dictionary has this:
“untracked |ˌənˈtrakt| adjective (of land) not previously explored or traversed; without a path or tracks : the Saxons usually hid in the untracked marshlands. • (of snow or a snowy slope) not marked by skis, vehicles, people, or animals : experts can go heli-skiing in untracked powder.

not found after attempts at detection, esp. by means of radar or satellite : the previously untracked object.”

Apple then adds:  PHRASES: get untracked get into one’s stride or find good form, esp. in sporting contexts.

But that phrase doesn’t fit the definition given, does it?

Is this a case of evolving language, or as I see it, a lack of word skills due to acquiring vocabulary by hearing as opposed to reading?

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Posted: 12 October 2007 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FWIW, the first ten ghits a few minutes ago were for “....running game untracked” but it means nothing to me.

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Posted: 12 October 2007 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Is this a case of evolving language, or as I see it, a lack of word skills due to acquiring vocabulary by hearing as opposed to reading?

Probably both.

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Posted: 12 October 2007 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Note that “Ask Oxford” is not the OED. The OED is a specific dictionary published by Oxford University Press. It’s 20 volumes in its printed form and not available for free (most of the time).

Confusingly, the “Compact Oxford English Dictionary,” which is a desktop dictionary has the same title as the micrographically reproduced 1 volume version of the 20 volume OED.

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