I’m back in the Sports Illustrated Tennis Mailbag, this time with a grammatical gripe!
Dear Jon, I got a bone to pick with tennis players, especially American and British tennis players. My beef is simple: the pervasive misuse of the adjective “aggressive” in our beloved sport. You can be aggressive, but you do not play aggressive—you play aggressively! I understand if non-native speakers don’t realize the distinction (Rafa is especially fond of leaving off the -ly) but in your podcast with Jared Donaldson, he says, “play aggressive” (10:08 mark). He was talking about Rafa, so perhaps it’s contagious. Jared’s not alone—John Isner’s guilty as well. And it doesn’t help that even journalists are making this error: “Q. This match, Jelena played very aggressive.” Granted, these writers may be foreign, but still. We need to aggressively rescue this adverb from further grammatical degradation!
—Sung, Washington, N.J.
Read Jon Wertheim’s response!
Since my Modern Love essay came out on Thursday, a few people have asked about the recently-completed second book. Here’s the pitch.
by Sung J. Woo
A novel about art and athletics, family and adoption, remembrance and forgiveness – and Judy and Kevin, sister and brother.
Judy Lee’s life has not turned out the way she’d imagined. She’s divorced, she’s broke, and her dreams of being a painter have fallen by the wayside. Her co-worker Roger might be a member of the Yakuza, but he’s also the only person who’s asked her on a date in the last year.
Meanwhile, Kevin, an ex-professional tennis player, has decided to donate a kidney to their ailing father — until it turns out that he’s not a genetic match. His father reluctantly tells him he was adopted, but the only information Kevin has is a nude picture of his birth mother.
Told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Judy and Kevin, Love Love is a story about two people figuring out how to live, how to love, how to be their best selves amid the chaos of their lives.