When Love Means Nothing

Tennis Balls in Heart Shape

iStock image of tennis balls in a heart shape

Kudos to USOpen.org for offering a free live video stream of today’s men’s semifinal tennis match between David Ferrer of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the 2012 U.S. Open Tennis tournament.

Most of the free cable television sports channels highlighted football versus tennis today, the official start of the NFL football season.

A new-to-tennis friend recently asked me the question, “why is zero called ‘love’ in tennis?”  Do you know the answer to that question?

According to Wikipedia’s “tennis score” definition, the origin of the use of “love” for zero in tennis is disputed.  Wikipedia offers four possible explanations:

  1. “It is possible that the use derives from the French expression for ‘the egg’ (l’oeuf), because an egg looks like the number zero.”
  2. “‘Love’ is also said to derive from l’heure ,‘the hour,’ in French”
  3. “A third possibility comes from the Dutch expression, ‘iets voor lof doen’ which means to do something for praise, implying no monetary stakes;” or
  4. “The use of ‘Love’ comes from the acceptance that, at the start of any match, when scores are at zero, players still have ‘Love for each other.’ ”

What do you think of the four suggested explanations above?  One Yahoo user has offered an alternative, fifth theory, suggesting that the use of “love” for zero in tennis is tied to the 17th-century expression, “play for love,” which meant, “to play without any wage, for nothing.”

This fifth theory certainly seems to be the most romantic of all of the suggested explanations with its love-means-more-than-money, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” sort of air.  Would you agree?

When was the last time that you put your heart and soul into an effort without expecting a monetary gain?  And, was love the motivational source behind your effort?  Also, what wages have you reaped from the love that you’ve shown while living your life so far?

If you’re a tennis fan, you can show your love for your favorite players in a no-cost way – follow them on Twitter.  Which players?  Check out Bleacher Report’s recent article, “Tennis on Twitter: 25 Players You Have to Follow.


A Classic Question for You

Classic Ford Model T car

Classic Ford Model T

The 2011 Oscar-nominated French film The Artist pays homage to one classic genre of film: silent film.  In 100 minutes, the film’s audience is reminded of that certain breed of film that began in the late 19th century and ended at the start of the 20th.

Besides silent film, what else meets the standard of “classic” in our world?  If asked about classics, what words would roll off your tongue?

What about classic U.S. Western films and TV shows? Would you respond with Duel in the Sun or The Lone Ranger, maybe?  Or, what about scary films?  Maybe you’d highlight “The Shining or “Psycho” as classics?

Which classic books or novels would you list?  Moby-Dick, The Sound and the Fury, The Grapes of Wrath and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn may come to your mind.  And, what about classic cars?  You might reply with, “the Ford Model T.”

In the future, many global tennis fans may refer to today’s five-hour, 53-minute, men’s final tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at The Australian Open as a “classic” sports event.

Wikipedia defines classic as “something that is a perfect example of a particular style, something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality” and notes that the something defined as “classic” may be a noun or adjective.

Certainly, we’ve all experienced memorable and classic moments, but, do you think someone can be a classic?  If you think so, then what’s the secret formula for becoming a classic?

A close friend once told me, “you become a classic when you transcend time.”  If that’s the case, personally, I think that cars, sports events, books and films may have a head start.  What do you think?





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