How America’s fastest-growing sport got its name

Recent articles in UT and Sports Illustrated detail how pickleball became all the rage in San Diego and our beautiful country. A quarter-sized version of tennis, heavily influenced by badminton, ping pong, and wiffle ball, pickleball is hugely popular at my club at Scripps Ranch. During the set hours for free play here, 32 pickleball players flock to our eight courts.

The game began in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle. Then-state Rep. Joel Pritchard and two of his friends — Bill Bell and Barney McCallum — returned from golf on a Saturday afternoon to find their families bored with the usual summer activities. They tried to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. So they improvised with a Wiffle ball, lowered the badminton net and made plywood paddles from a nearby shed.

According to Joan Pritchard, Joel’s wife, the name of the sport came “after I said it reminded me of the crewed Pickle Boat, where rowers were chosen from the remains of other boats. Somehow the idea that the name came from our dog Pickles was attached to the name of the game, but Pickles was not on the scene for two years. The dog was named for the game.”

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When I was little I read The Wizard of Oz and wondered how anyone could talk if they had no brains. Then I went to Facebook and found out. It’s been said that a million monkeys typing on computers will eventually create a literary masterpiece like Hamlet. I know that’s not true because I’ve been on Facebook.

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About 100 years ago, when alarm clocks were expensive and unreliable, professional knockers (usually women) were people responsible for waking up workers. They earned around sixpence a week shooting dried peas at peashooters from the windows of sleeping workers in east London. The knocker superiors wouldn’t move until they were sure the worker had woken up.

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People always call me a walking dictionary. I thought they meant I was smart with a good vocabulary, but apparently I’m just thick. Building a solid vocabulary is important in life, so today I’m teaching you the word plethora. It means a lot. I’m less in love with the word scarcity. It means very little to me.

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The ability to speak multiple languages ​​is a valuable asset, but the ability to be silent in any language is priceless.

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Have you ever noticed that waiting line is only one q followed by a column of silent letters aligned?

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I believe the poet TS Eliot included his initial to avoid people like me pointing out that T. Eliot spelled backwards is toilet. Speaking of spelling a word backwards, when you feel stress, do not hesitate to consume desserts.

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If you mix up the MAILMEN letters, they get really upset.

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A rhopalic is a sentence in which each word is progressively longer by one letter or one syllable than its predecessor. This word comes from the Greek rhopalosfor a club or club, thicker towards one end than the other.

From the great Dmitri Borgmann, here is a rhopalic sentence in which each word adds a letter: O to see the poetic and severe thought of man publicly spreading the reckless imaginative mathematical inventiveness, the open-mindedness unconditionally superimposing the non-antagonistic, hypersophisticated, interconfessional interpenetrations.

Here is my original rhopalic, in which each word adds a syllable: I never fully interpret the administrative, idiosyncratic, unclassifiable, overintellectualized deinstitutionalization.

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On Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. and Monday, July 18 at 7 p.m., I will be performing two benefit performances at the Lamplighters Theater, 5915 Severin Drive in La Mesa; (619) 303-5092; website: lamplighterslamesa.com. My show is called Doctor Grammar Guy. Get ready to laugh, learn and support a great community playhouse. I would like to meet you at Lamplighters.

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