Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A question for the ages

Is it backpedaling or backpaddling?

Every time I question this, Sean tries to reassure me that it's one and not the other, all the time, in all situations. Of course, I can't remember what that one was, and besides, I'm not convinced. Both make sense. If you're on a bike and you see that you're going somewhere you don't want to go, pedaling backwards is a futile effort to go back.

Similarly, if you're in a canoe (this is what i picture), and you've been taken by the current or your strong forepaddling, and you suddenly realize you're headed toward the edge of a giant waterfall and your impending doom, paddling backwards will do little to help. So which is it?? And why? And why can we not use both. I like options, who doesn't like options?? Someone tell me now, please.

3 comments:

The Richards said...

I say backpedaling, but I'm pretty I've heard both. I think it depends on which metaphor you're using - going up a hill, or down a river.

Joel said...

The Oxford English dictionary has backpedalling, but not backpaddling. So, depending on which side you want to take in the debate, that could end the discussion.

Jen said...

Pfff... Oxford. What do they know.

Alright, so it's backpedaling. Still, backpaddling seems to work just fine too. I think i'll start my own language.