Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication
It must be around twenty years ago now, but the words “Lift your game, Cliff!” still resonate loud and clear around the world-famous Armidale tennis courts that, every month of January, host the New England Open tennis tournament. The event attracts the world’s best players to country New South Wales, where they come to face local talent such as Cliff Goddard, now retired—from tennis at least. That year, Goddard was playing an early round match; he was in superb form and heading for an easy win. Nevertheless, during a change of ends, a spectator called out the infamous words that would inspire the champion, who also knows a thing or two about linguistics, to pen one of his well-known papers (published as Chap. 3 of Goddard 2006) misleadingly titled “Lift your game, Martina!”. Being the non-assuming bloke we all know he is, Goddard cleverly extracted himself from the account of what had occurred and made it look as though it had happened at the Australian Open in Melbourne, to another champion known by the name of Martina Hingis. We know better, don’t we?