1. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    on the sidelines of

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ohmyrichard, Sep 25, 2012.

    Dear all,
    I often hear in news reports on the radio or on TV or videos that "Mr. or Mrs or Miss What's-His-Or-Her-Name, a correspondent, is reporting from the sidelines of an international conference." I've consulted my physical dictionaries and also searched online for the meaning of "reporting from the sidelines of a conference", but I only get the meaning of "stay/stand on the sidelines" of "not taking part in an activity even though you want to or should do". But what is the exact meaning of "a correspondent reporting from the sidelines of a conference"?

    I also remember that in news reports I often hear "two political leaders hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of an international conference". Then, what is the accurate meaning of "holding bilateral talks on the sidelines of an international conference"? Is it that the talks held are not on the agenda of the international conference or have nothing to do with the international conference?
    Thanks a lot.
    Richard
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think reporting from the sidelines means they're in the audience, not able to deal directly with the participants. So it's all observation, not interacting.

    The bilateral thing - sounds like you've got that right - the "unofficial' discussions to iron things out before the official talks begin (or conclude).
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...it means that, more or less... that the talks are held not within the formal framework of the conference itself, but 'off to the side'... as in unofficially, not from the dais... in other words, 'private' talks between two or a few, rather than being open to the entire raft of participants/press/audience...

    the term 'sidelines' comes from football... meaning the area below the stands where the coaches and substitute players sit/stand...
     
  4. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thank you, shadowwalker and maia.
    BTW I do not know why yesterday I could not access this website. After I tried several times to log on to my writingforums.org account and failed, I was terrified. I first thought that this website might have been blocked by the Chinese government and then I denied the possibility, for I thought they have no reason to do it.
    Whew, now I find I can be connected to this website again. Perhaps there was something somewhere going wrong technically.
    Thanks a lot, shadowwalker and maia.
     
  5. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Then you'll get the term "reporting for courtside" and other sports terms. TV generally uses the term 'sidelines' interchangeably for football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey-as do the Administrators when working them also.

    Court side will be the term used for Basketball and Volleyball you'll hear a lot there too.

    On a side note, I've been on so many sidelines as a coach, facility/event manager, and various other roles in college sports that I could just about write a book on the stories that could be told from that-especially in football. Plenty of things, both funny and sad, that go on down there that folks don't see in TV. I've been big, hulking college players fighting (playfully) with each other to go hold a coach's newborn child. :)
     
  6. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks. You can, like some novelists, also write books and even fiction on/ about sports.
    BTW as for your last sentence, did you mean to say "I've SEEN big..."?
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not to worry, richard!... the site does go down temporarily now and then, due to problems with the hosting site, or needing maintenance, or whatever... but not due to gov't blockage... so far...

    calming hugs, maia
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    yeah I forgot it, was late last night and missed it. :)
     
  9. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thanks a lot, maia.

    Thank you, captain kate.
     

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