By petedirenzo
Sunday, June 01, 2008

In all the discussion of the proposed nickname for the three closing holes at Sawgrass, some readers may be wondering whether it should be "running the gauntlet" and "running the gantlet." It's an arcane usage issue that only an editor could truly care about, so I'll keep this brief:
To quote the Columbia Guide to Standard American English: A gauntlet is “a heavy glove, often armored” or “a glove with a heavy cuff covering part of the arm.” To throw down the gauntlet is to challenge someone; to pick up the gauntlet is to accept someone’s challenge. A gantlet is “a lane between two lines of people armed with staves or whips,
through which someone being punished is forced to run while being
clubbed or whipped by the people on either side” (
run the gantlet) and, figuratively, “any series of trials and difficulties.” To complicate matters, each is a variant spelling of the other. If you look up the words in a dictionary, most will say they're variants of one another, but for our purposes we're going to keep the distinction. So, if we're talking about running the course of these three holes, we'd be talking about a gantlet.

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