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  1. #1
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default It's all academic

    What does it mean when sportscasters say "It's all academic" at the very end of a sports contest when the outcome has not yet been decided?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: It's all academic

    It means that, in the bigger picture, the result doesn't matter. If, for example, Manchester United are leading the Premier Division table by 12 points, there is only one game to go in the league, then it doesn't matter if they lose, they will still win the league because no other team can beat them even by winning the final game of the season. The maximum number of points available to a team is 3 so no team can catch Manchester United. The result of Manchester United's final match is academic - they have won the league title, no matter what.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: It's all academic

    not a teacher

    What does it mean when sportscasters say "It's all academic" at the very end of a sports contest when the outcome has not yet been decided?

    Here's a situation in which the phrase might be said very near the end of a game.
    In rugby:
    a) "Only one minute to go and the Blues have a penalty. Will they go for goal or try and run the ball one last time?"
    b) "There's not enough time for them to win the game or get a bonus point, so it's all academic anyway."

    It's similar to emsr2d2's example in that whatever the Blues choose to do, it's mostly of statistical interest and has no practical effect on the outcome.

  4. #4
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: It's all academic

    "It's all academic" is a shortened version of the original phrase "It's all of academic interest only".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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