Where The 'H' Came From
An Associated Press dispatch for May 26, 2001, reports a recent decision based upon U.S. Tennis Association rules:
Frustrated high school tennis players in Tennessee can yell "Jesus!" or "Christ!" without censure. What they can't do is scream "Jesus Christ!"
Growing up, I would occasionally hear adults say things like, "Jesus H. Christ!" I wondered why the H was inserted. This story seems to present a plausible explanation. In college, a conflation of catch phrases gave me "Christ on a stick!" to exclaim when I was upset. Surprisingly, no one who ever heard me say it even raised an eyebrow.
Player ousted for
Chattanooga, Tennessee -- Frustrated high school tennis players in Tennessee can yell "Jesus!" or "Christ!" without censure. What they can't do is scream "Jesus Christ!"
Those two words were shouted by Cameron Boyd after he lost serve in the third set of the Class AAA championship doubles match Thursday. He and partner Brandon Allan were disqualified.
Jan Genosi, the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association official during the match, came onto the court and awarded the victory to Scott and Andrew Felsenthal, citing the profanity rule.
Genosi said the state association closely follows U.S. Tennis Association rules, which permit players to yell "Jesus" and "Christ" -- just not in the same breath.
"You allow 'Jesus' and you allow 'Christ,' but you won't allow them together?" Boyd asked Genosi. "That's ridiculous."
State tennis rules call for an automatic default on a first offense for visible or audible profanity or obscenity or physical abuse of a player or official.
"I don't have any leeway," Genosi said. "I'm going by the rule."
Scott Felsenthal said he would have preferred to win on the court and thought it should have just drawn a warning.
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