For those keeping score at home

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Kids, if you’re keeping score at home, you’ll notice that since Obama’s victory last week, it’s:

RUSSIA: two threatening strategic moves

REST OF WORLD: zero responses.

http://www.allourmight.com/?p=247

What does "keeping score at home" mean? Is "score" related to "an argument or disagreement that has existed for a long time"?
 
  • TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    This is figurative, but common in AE.

    "To keep score" means to watch a game (basketball, soccer, football, etc) and make sure that the score of the game is accurate.

    In games such as this, there are "official scorekeepers" who constantly watch the game and are responsible for the accuracy of the score on the scoreboard and for reporting the final game scores to the official sports bodies.

    To "keep score at home" means that you listen to the radio, or watch TV, and write down the score of a game.

    This particular use of the phrase is figurative, and sometimes ironic, as it is in this case.

    Note the "game score":
    Russia: 2
    Rest of world: 0
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    This is figurative, but common in AE.

    "To keep score" means to watch a game (basketball, soccer, football, etc) and make sure that the score of the game is accurate.

    In games such as this, there are "official scorekeepers" who constantly watch the game and are responsible for the accuracy of the score on the scoreboard and for reporting the final game scores to the official sports bodies.

    To "keep score at home" means that you listen to the radio, or watch TV, and write down the score of a game.

    This particular use of the phrase is figurative, and sometimes ironic, as it is in this case.

    Note the "game score":
    Russia: 2
    Rest of world: 0

    thanks timla, I got it.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "For those of you keeping score at home" is a standard phrase that radio announcers used to use in baseball games (and that television sports announcer still use to some extent). Baseball game score sheets show more than the number of runs (points) each team has. They use standardized symbols, letters and numbers to record virtually every event of interest during a game on a small sheet of paper. An announcer would say "For those of you keeping score at home, that play went 4-6-3" to mean that the second baseman fielded a batted ball, threw it to the shortstop, and the shortstop then threw it to the first baseman. The phrase became a common set phrase in American English.

    Since this is a set phrase, it cannot be replaced with "to keep score at home" or anything else, even if the words of the replacement phrase have the same individual meanings.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Baseball game score sheets show more than the number of runs (points) each team has.
    :thumbsup:

    Yes, the original answer wasn't quite right. This is specifically a baseball reference. There are many details recorded on a baseball scorecard, beyond simply the score.

    So, "for those of you keeping score at home" in this figurative use, implies "for those of you following the details closely".
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    In a recorded lecture a professor said, "For those of you scoring at home..."
    What did he mean?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In a recorded lecture a professor said, "For those of you scoring at home..."
    What did he mean?
    He meant "for those of you keeping score at home," as in the previous posts, but I suspect he wasn't a native speaker of American English - or at least didn't grow up listening to or watching baseball game broadcasts.
     

    Joika

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hello everyone,

    I'm curious about the syntax of this phrase. Since score is countable, wouldn't it be more grammatically correct to say "keep the/a score" like set phrases such as "on the line" or "go the extra mile" that have an article?

    Or should we just treat this expression like a whole?

    Thank you!!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    As said above, "keeping score" is a reference to a process, not a number. It's an activity. So because it's a reference to an ongoing process, the progressive is used.

    Many people will be at home watching the game, but only some will be at home scoring the game, or keeping (the) score.

    I think this is one of those situations where "the" is optional, although without "the" is the common version when "of the game" is not included.

    Here's a baseball scorecard. All of these things were written down over the course of the game.

    notframed.jpg
     
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    Joika

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    As said above, "keeping score" is a reference to a process, not a number. It's an activity. So because it's a reference to an ongoing process, the progressive is used.

    I think this is one of those situations where "the" is optional, although without "the" is the common version when "of the game" is not included.
    Thank you so much for reminding me the progressive aspect!

    Does it apply to all countable nouns that if it's in a set phrase referring to a common activity, articles are optional? (I extrapolated "common" from that most people here seem to understand this sports-related expression without needing a lot of context)

    Speaking of which, I now recall noun combinations such as "shoe shop" or "horse race". Do you think they are somehow connected to the dropping of “the" in "keeping score" in that they all suggest common ideas?

    Thank you!!
     
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