Okay, so the past week or so has been dominated by stories about the alleged football deflation by the Patriots. Every day the story gets more and more complicated and less and less interesting. With the Super Bowl just days away, it seems stupid to be wasting a lot of time on something that may or may not have happened the way it has been described or alleged.
However, it did cause me to ask the question as to whether there is such a word as flated. I know about deflated and inflated, but is there a state of flation? I really was shocked to discover that a couple of dictionaries carry the word flated, the neutral word describing something like a ball before it is either inflated or deflated.
It was more of a lark that led me to this research, and I’m not terribly invested in it. However, it does help to explain the meaning of both inflated and deflated. In the articles I have been reading where they describe the manufacture of footballs, it occurs to me that when the factory workers have cut the leather, partially sown it together, and inserted the rubberized bladder before sewing up the exterior, one might really describe the ball as flated. I come to this conclusion by recognizing that both inflation and deflation require a specific human endeavor. Before a needle is inserted into the “stem” of the football and air is pumped into it, there is somewhat of a neutral status of the ball. Until it has been inflated with air pumped through that needle, it is flated. Similarly, before someone sticks a needle into that same stem and releases air, it remains inflated. After the air is released, it is deflated. Both took an intentional act…by someone…we don’t know who in Boston did it. Probably some Irish leprechauns.
Remember, however, that the words inflation and deflation are not restricted to the field of sports. In the world of economics, for instance, we know that the cost of items on the shelf can, at times be adjusted because of inflation of the economy. And when something causes the prices to reverse, there is an economic period of deflation. Both are measurable acts by the markets to value items for sale.
So, is there ever a period of flation? I assume that would be a period where items are priced at the actual cost of their purchase and production. I’m not sure we can ever come back to a flated period. Over history we have experienced both inflation and deflation to the point that the real cost of something is hard to assess.
And, we talk about someone’s ego being inflated or deflated. It all depends upon what kinds of ego-strokes or slams someone receives. I wonder what it would look like to see someone who had a flated ego. It’s probably best to leave the word’s use attributed to such things as footballs. If, of course, we are going to use the word flated at all.
Right now, my energy for another Patriot’s victory over Seattle is moderately high. I’ve never been a real NFL fan until recently. Prior to that, my energy was just flated when it came to grown men getting paid millions of dollars to play a game in front of millions of people on a Sunday afternoon. The current scandal didn’t deflate me, either.
Image Credit: Detroit Lions