I am a huge tennis fan and caught the finale of the Charleston Open Sunday afternoon and was watching the post-match press conference of Danielle Collins, who won the tournament.

WTA 500 Credit One Charelston Open 2024 - Final Day
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The resurgent American, who has won back-to-back tournaments (Miami and Charleston), was being interviewed by Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel. During that interview, Danielle chatted about her seasonal allergy issues. She mentioned that there are lots of trees in Charleston and that's she's been "itching her nose" a lot during the tournament.

Wait! What? Danielle, I'm a big fan, but hold on. You scratch your nose if itches. You don't itch it if it itches, right?  Am I wrong here?

WTA 500 Credit One Charelston Open 2024 - Day 5
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Look! I have various friends who frequently interchange the words 'scratch' and 'itch'. For me, itching is a sensation. Scratching is the process of relieving that sensation.

The truth is- the word 'itch' is both a noun and a verb. According to Merriam-Webster, the word, as a noun, means "an uneasy irritating sensation on the surface of the skin." As a verb, 'itch' quite simply means to have that itch- not to remedy it,

There's another definition of the verb 'itch' and that is "to have a restless desire of hankering for something." That's hardly the act of scratching. I don't think Danielle Collins was suggesting that she has a restless desire for her nose. I think she meant was scratching it.

The word 'scratch' means exactly what Danielle (and my 'itch' friends) alluded to. Merriam-Webster defines the verb 'scratch' this way- "to scrape or dig with the claws or nails." They also define it this way- "to scrape or rub lightly (as to relieve itching)."

So, which is it?



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