A Gentler Punishment?

In North America, if you break the rules in a sporting event, the worst possible punishment is to be disqualified.  It’s a harsh term and the ultimate penalty.

I read this article from the BBC this morning and I find it interesting how a choice of words for the same thing can have such a difference.

In the Australian Grand Prix, apparently Lewis Hamilton broke a rule.  This, after the Toyota team was deemed to have broken a rule and were kicked off the winner’s podium and Hamilton promoted to their place.

In Hamilton’s case, apparently there was a yellow flag shown and he passed another driver.  When a yellow flag comes out, you are supposed to slow down and not pass because there is some element of danger ahead.  Driving carefully ensures that it doesn’t get worse.  According to the reports, Hamilton did make a pass under the yellow.

Consequently, he had to be punished.  But, rather than “disqualify” him, he was “excluded”.  The result is the same but somehow the reports of exclusion seem so much……kinder.


Just to check my interpretation, I head over to a dictionary to be sure.


Yes, I think I’d rather be excluded than disqualified!

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