Here’s the question of the day:
What are the chances that O, K and ! will meet H, A, G, S and W in line at a basketball game?
Yes, I am insane, but that’s beside the point. I’m simply asking a question that the caption of this picture raises.
The last line says this:
Wilson said he came with three of the letters (O, K and !), while he just met the other five letters standing in line prior to entering the fieldhouse.
The implication: Eight guys painted their chests with random letters one night – and by the way they all used the same colors and the same designs – and just happened to find each other in line at a basketball game.
Look! they say, astonished. What could we spell?
W takes charge and arranges his new friends into HAGS OK!
But poor W (no, not that Dubya); what will he do out there all alone? He could steal the exclamation point and strut long the court: W! W! W!
As the game draws nearer, the anagrammatic troupe ponders, discarding Shag Wok!, Gash Wok!, Gawks Oh!, Gawk Hos! and Gawks Ho!
A car drives by and an enthusiastic fan shouts, “Go Hawks!”
Our newfound friends have found their calling!
What a story, but probably not the one we meant to suggest.
More likely: Three guys went to the game and started chatting with five other guys in line. One of them had taken along paint in hopes of inspiring a chest message. By the time the game starts, eight shirtless guys spell out Go Hawks!
Saying what we mean isn’t always colorful, but it’s definitely the right thing to do.
Two more things: First, the kicker for the photograph worked nicely. Thumbs up!
Second, before is more conversational than prior to. Prior to isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t exactly roll off tongue either. As John Bremner writes, you wouldn’t say posterior to, would you?
I didn’t think so.