curve or curveball

danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I guess that curve/curveball means pitching a ball with enough spin to cause it to travel in a hook trajectory rather than a staright line, but I am not sure about how to use it outside baseball.

Is it idiomatic to use this term the following way?

Politicians often try curve/curveball strategy when dealing with the media.
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    A curveball both turns to one side and dips downward, making it doubly hard to hit.

    The most common figurative use is "to throw a curveball" in the case of the person making the unexpected move or "to hit a curveball" when a second person reacts adequately to an unexpected, unusual, or "tricky" move.

    This is how I would write the sentence you suggested:
    "Politicians often try a curveball strategy when dealing with the media."

    "Curve" by itself would be confusing, I believe, and would not have the same meaning.
     

    danielxu85

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks so much bibliolept for helping me out! If I were to use "throw a curveball" / "hit a curveball", how would I add the substance of the move in the sentence?

    Could I say something like "John threw a curveball of tarnishing Emily's reputation during the election for district attorney."?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    The most common figurative use is "to throw a curveball" in the case of the person making the unexpected move or "to hit a curveball" when a second person reacts adequately to an unexpected, unusual, or "tricky" move.


    "Curve" by itself would be confusing, I believe, and would not have the same meaning.
    Note also that there is a common expression that goes with these, "to throw someone a curve".

    This usually means that something unexpected, and with difficult effects, has been done.

    Jasper: Come on Ted, we have to leave for the concert in ten minutes!
    Ted: Ok, Jasper, I'm ready. Let's go.
    Jasper: Ted, you're wearing normal clothes. The concert is formal. You have just five minutes to get into a Tuxedo.
    Ted: What the %$%$#@$%& !
    Jasper: Just kidding. Let's go now.
    Ted: Wow! You really threw me a curve there. I'm glad you weren't serious.
     
    Top