Untracked?

17 09 2006

Here’s a question for the linguists out there. Look at this dictionary entry. In particular, look at the informal usage. This particular usage of untracked has always sounded incorrect to me. I’ve heard sports commentators use it, and I’ve seen it in print, but I always thought that they were just misusing the phrase “on track”. Did the team “struggle in the first half, but finally got on track“, or did they “struggle in the first half, but finally got untracked“? Which is correct? Are they both correct? Have the the dictionary people just thrown up there hands and said “Fine, use the language however you want”?

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2 responses

25 09 2006
dewey

I, too, always thought it was an abuse of “on track”. It never even occurred to me that it might be “untracked”.

Of course, I’m the guy who can not accept that “cannot” is one word.

20 11 2006
Matthew Cohen

Glad to hear someone else finds this annoying.
I think that it is being used as on track and it seems to be used in exclusively football – which means it is almost certainly incorrect.

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