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The Most Annoying Word In Sport, And Why You've Gotta Stop Hating It

Just occasionally, the kids are right.

This doesn't happen often in life. If the kids were right all the time, the five essential food groups would be chips, chocolate, nuggets, slushies and Warheads.

But a decade or so back, the kids started using a word which has now become commonplace. In fact, you could argue it has become indispensable.

That word is "versing".

Love it or hate it, you've got to admit that "versing" is an elegant way to say one team is playing another. Magpies versus Eagles this weekend? That means the Pies are "versing" the Eagles, doesn't it?

The Eagles were chapter and verse the best team in 2018. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Sure, you could say they're "playing" each other or "playing against" each other or "clashing", or "taking each other on", or "meeting", or any of a hundred different terms. But versing does the job neatly and succinctly.

This issue came to the 10 daily sports desk's attention this week, when respected ABC columnist Richard Hinds made the reasonable point that when two grand final teams meet the following season, it's not technically a "replay".

Friendly banter ensued, and the conversation segued from the replay/rematch thing to the word "versing".

As you can see, Hinds minds. He finds that "versing" grinds.

But frankly, it doesn't matter what he or any other self-proclaimed master of the linguistic uniVERSE thinks because Australia's dictionary of record, the Macquarie, has already included the verb "to verse".

In fact this happened way back in 2009. So it's the word's 10-year anniVERSary.

"The usage occurs mostly in the speech of children, but the children are growing up," the Macquarie Dictionary people noted in an article about the inclusion of the word "versing".

The kids are indeed growing up, and language is evolving with them. And those of us who first cringed at the word "versing" should stop being so aVERSE to change.

What do YOU think? Vote in our Twitter poll. It's the yeahs versing the nahs!