Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What does a referee do?

Recently received a letter from a friend and church contact who is about to under take a 12 month Counselling Course and she asked, if I, “Would you mind being a “referee” for me?
Being me, I wrote: “Well??? If it was to referee a fight you were in, then maybe yes, but to give you a character reference? Gee? I don't know about that! Lol. Seriously, of course I would be only too happy to do that for you if/when asked. Haven't been yet.”
To which she replied: “Hmm, yes I thought their use of “referee” was unusual. Who knows?
So it was in light of the above correspondence regarding our comments on the word Referee, that I decided to see what the on-line dictionary had to say on the subject.
It gave the following 6 meanings:
–noun 1. one to whom something is referred, esp. for decision or settlement; arbitrator.
2. (in certain games and sports) a judge having functions fixed by the rules of the game or sport; umpire.
3. an authority who evaluates scientific, technical, or scholarly papers, grant proposals, or the like for the publication or funding institution to which they have been submitted.
4. Law. A person selected by a court to take testimony in a case and return it to the court with recommendations as to the decision.
–Verb (used with object) 5. To preside over as referee; act as referee in.
–Verb (used without object) 6. To act as referee.
Now none of the above concisely coincided as how I expect they were/are using the word in this case, but I guess my previous thinking of the word referee, if I ever thought about it, was always and only towards the first two definitions, without even the thought of the other, legal meanings. Again it just shows that even when using familiar words, they don't always have the meaning that we are familiar with, do they? And so we need to be careful at all times that we both know what the other means when using otherwise familiar words, don’t we?
So, are there any other familiar words that you have always used, that now, you find have other meanings. Sometimes with totally opposite applications, like with “Cleave”.
Anyway, with that bit of nonsense out of the way, I will close now.

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