The Great Pottery Throw Down and language

The newest knockout competition on British television is The Great Pottery Throw Down (GPTD), in which an initial ten potters produce a variety of ceramic work each week, the most successful being
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The newest knockout competition on British television is The Great Pottery Throw Down (GPTD), in which an initial ten potters produce a variety of ceramic work each week, the most successful being declared Top Potter, and the least successful being ‘asked to leave’. The last four then compete in a final for the overall title. While the format is very familiar from the likes of The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef, some of the words used in it may not be. The Great British what? The first thing of linguistic interest that I noticed was actually the title itself. Apart from the fact that expressions like throw-down and bake-off are, conventionally, hyphenated, why ‘throw-down’ at all? A throw-down can be a fall in wrestling, but I don’t suppose many viewers will have been distracted by that, let alone misled into thinking the programme had something to do with both pottery and wrestling. Slightly closer, a throwdown is also, in an originally American sense, ‘a performance by, or. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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