September 8, 2008

marathon

The wife and I watched a House marathon yesterday while we cleaned up after a party and did some laptop work. House is a great show, and since the new season hasn't started yet, the marathon gave us a big dose to tide us over.

It is funny how often the word marathon is used. The dictionary definition not only lists the foot race of 26 miles 385 yards, but also "any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance. Even the ending "-athon" has become ubiquitous. Read-a-thons, Walk-a-thons, dance-a-thons, sale-a-thons, etc.

All this from a runner named Pheidippides who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens to report a battle victory. If the Persians had landed in Piraeus instead of Marathon, we wouldn't have as many catchy words. And Pheidippides might not have died after delivering the news. And we wouldn't be running so many miles.