Sunday, January 15, 2012

You Say Libero, I Say Libero

In volleyball news, the teen club season has begun, and I got to see my daughter play again yesterday. She is the libero, a back row player who can come in for two other players without a special moment at the line with the referee to handle the substitution. It makes for swifter play.

At high levels of competition, there is a "libero tracker" to make sure these entrances and exits are all in order. The position of libero started in international play, and went to the clubs and colleges before it went to the schools, filtering down from high schools to junior high, but soon it will be pretty standard.

It is pronounced LEE-burr-o, evidently from the Romance languages and related to being a "free" substitution player. Around here, people say Luh-BEAR-o, as nobody knew how to pronounce it when it first arrived. So, either is correct, but, given the accents, you can't really sing it to "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," by George and Ira Gershwin, from Shall We Dance. "You say potato, I say potato...You like tomatoes, I like tomatoes..."

My daughter is playing in Peoria today (theatre joke), where my husband was coaching a younger club team yesterday. He's there with her, to watch, and then has to turn around and come back to coach his team at the local club. This extra driving could have been avoided if I were not part of the 50%. Yes, really, as a team (marriage, family, American citizenry), we are part of the 99%, not the rich 1%, but in the scheme of things, I am part of the vast majority of women whose husbands only listen to 50% of what they say. As in, "Do you have to go to Peoria tomorrow? Because, if not, she can get a ride with a teammate. She has to be there at 9:00 a.m."

"I have to be there at 11:00."

"Do you want to take her and see her play before you have to start coaching?"

"Yes, I can do that." Etc.

Suddenly, this morning, my husband realized he had to drive to Peoria.

Shall we dance?


Sandy Longhorn said...

Cheers to the 50%, of which I am a proud member as well. :)

Kathleen said...

At least we can laugh about it, say, 99% of the time, eh?

seana graham said...

I like how words arrive here in America and turn into completely different sounds. There's a town nearby here called Los Gatos. The correct pronunciation in Spanish is Lows Gahtows. I was amused riding the bus at one point to hear the bus driver pronounce the stop as Loss Gat-toes. Way to switch around the vowels to your own liking, driver!

Kathleen said...

Likewise, in Chicago, busdrivers pronounce the Goethe Street stop as goEEthee.

Molly said...

Hey, I'm part of that 50% too! :)

Kathleen said...

Yay! And I love the sports/poetry conversations...or non-conversations...that can go on!