Thursday, September 17, 2009

Running the gauntlet or gantlet

Word games: Remember the Clint Eastwood movie "The Gauntlet"? Eastwood faced all kinds of obstacles while taking a prostitute, played by Sondra Locke, from Las Vegas. At one time, a gauntlet was a glove for a set of armor, and a gantlet was a series of tests.

The second definition of gauntlet comes closer here.
gaunt·let 2 also gant·let (gôntlt, gänt-) n.
1. a. A form of punishment or torture in which people armed with sticks or other weapons arrange themselves in two lines facing each other and beat the person forced to run between them.
b. The lines of people so arranged.
2. An onslaught or attack from all sides: "The hostages . . . ran the gauntlet of insult on their way to the airport" (Harper's).
3. A severe trial; an ordeal.
Definition of run the gantlet:
1. to be punished by means of the gantlet
2. to proceed while under attack from both sides, as by criticism
Why did I bring this up? I just found gantlet used correctly. Early in Wednesday's practice, the skill-position players ran a gantlet of blocking pads thrust at them by teammates.

If dictionaries are changing the word, it won't last long.

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