Don Bradman: masterful or masterly? Enter Mr Partridge.

Welcome back, reader. It seems I am fated to write blog entries on overcast Sydney days, which is unfortunate as this in no way reflects the typical climate of my hometown. Anyway, to the immediate business of today’s blog entry. In a recent cricket discussion, your erstwhile blogger found himself confronted with an alarming suggestion. On describing The Don as a ‘masterful batsman’ I was corrected by a reputable source that the actual adjective I sought was ‘masterly’. This was disturbing for someone who has been describing impressive cricket strokes and favoured players as masterful ever since acquiring the word itself. I thus registered consternation, only to be pointed, ever so gently, in the direction of the great Eric Partridge’s astonishing work, Usage and Abusage. Conscious and respectful of copyright issues, I will not cite the actual text, however, the entry demands reading and I highly recommend so doing. On reading Partridge, I blushed, shook my head gently, and plunged on in life, never again to describe The Don’s cover drive as anything other than masterly. Those old lexicographers really knew their stuff.

Be well.