EnBooo Podcast

Episode 119 • Competing


Be up against someone

One-up someone

Rub something in someone's face

May the best man win

In your face!


Coworker: Craig, so… are you ready for the typing competition? Have you been training?
Craig: Ugh, do I have to do it? What’s the worst thing that could happen if I don’t do it?
Coworker: Why would you not want to do it?
Craig: Because I‘m up against Sam.
Coworker: So what?
Craig: Oh, come on… You know how I feel about Sam… He’s so annoying. He’s always trying to one-up me. If I tell him I just bought a scooter, he tells me he bought a car. If I tell him I just got a new phone, he shows me his brand new MacBook. I’m telling you, that man’s so competitive.
Coworker: Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad. Plus, it’s a stupid office competition.
Craig: Yeah, I know, but if he wins, he’s going to rub that in my face the whole year and I just- I can’t have that…
Boss: Okay! Are you ready? Dorothy, please, don’t eat all the donuts. It’s an office party, not your party. Okay, so it’s finally time for our annual typing competition. The two finalists are Sam and Craig. You know the rules. They will have 20 seconds to copy a text they have on their computer, they have to type as many lines as possible. The fastest typist will win two spa passes and maybe an extra donut, if Dorothy doesn’t eat them all. Okay, you guys. Are you ready?
Sam: Hey! Hey Craig! Good luck, buddy! May the best man win! 
Craig: Sure, Sam, whatever…
Boss: Ready, set, go!
3, 2, 1! Stop, stop, stop, stop! Alright, let’s see… We’ve got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 lines for Craig and 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Oh my god, 10 for Sam!!! That’s really impressive! That means Sam is the fastest typist in the office and today’s winner. Well done, Sam. Here are your passes.
Sam: Haha. Craig. Come on! Maybe next year you’ll win… not! Hahaha.
Boss: Uhm, Sam.
Sam: What?
Boss: It’s just- Someone filmed the whole thing, you know just- just for our office YouTube channel and… we were watching the video and we saw that you… well, that you cheated.
Sam: What? What do you mean?
Boss: Well, you didn’t type anything. You just copied and pasted the whole thing so I’m afraid you’re going to have to give those passes to Craig.
Craig: Ha! In your face, man!


Be up against someone

'Because I’m up against Sam.'

• If you are up against someone, are they on your team or are they competing against you?

If you are up against someone, you and them are competing against each other.

• When was the last time you took part in a competition? Who were you up against?

The last time I competed with someone has gotta be when I took part in this Roundnet tournament. I am really bad at sports in general, I've already said this before, I think, but you know, I just thought it might be fun if I took part in this tournament. If you're not familiar with this sport, I don't blame you, not a lot of people are, but basically there are two teams made up of two people. So I was playing with this girl that I had just met, so we were on the same team and we were up against two of the best players in Spain, in the country, which we didn’t know at first, but let's just say we realized it about 30 seconds into game. Let’s just say it was humiliating. Let's put it that way.

One-up someone

'He’s so annoying He’s always trying to one-up me.'

• If someone is always trying to one-up you, are they trying to prove they are better than you or worse than you?

So, there's no easy answer to this question because if someone is trying to one-up you, what they're trying to do is they're trying to prove that they have an advantage over you. So, an example, if you tell them, I don’t know, “I got a new phone”, maybe they’ll tell you “Well, I got a new computer”. If you tell them “I got a girlfriend”, they might start talking about how great their wife is. However, and this what's really interesting, someone who’s trying to one-up you does not necessarily want to show you that their life is better than yours, they might be doing the exact opposite. So if I tell them “I lost my keys and it’s never happened before”, they might tell me “Oh yeah, it happens to me all the time”, you know what I’m saying? It’s not just about showing you that they're better, although a lot of times that's what it's about, but it’s just this need that some people have to even show you that they have it worse than you.

• If I told you I donated $10 to charity and you wanted to one-up me, how much would you donate?

If I donated $10 and you wanted to one-up me, you would probably donate something like $15, maybe $20, you know? Just a little bit more, just enough to show that you’re better than me, basically.

• Have you ever met someone who was always trying to one-up you?

I don’t- I don’t think so. My friends have always been very supportive so I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with someone who’d constantly try to one-up. Honestly no, I don't think so and I think that would be pretty annoying. I think someone is always trying to one-up you, maybe a friend or even a sibling, I truly think the only reason why they would be doing that is because they’re insecure, they're not very confident and so they're trying to prove to themselves more than anything really that they're better than you. So I think the way I would react to someone that's obviously trying to one-up me would be like “Oh yeah? Good for you!” and kinda let it drop.

Rub something in someone's face

'Yeah, I know, but if he wins, he’s going to rub that in my face the whole year and I just can’t have that…'

• When do you rub something in someone’s face? After they’ve made a mistake or failed or after they’ve succeeded at something?

You rub something in someone’s face after this person has made a mistake or has failed at something or even if they've lost in a competition. So let's say you’ve just lost- you were playing against someone and then you lost, well, if that person wants to rub that in your face, they're probably going to come up to you and they are going to be like- they're going to probably want to keep talking about the fact that you lost or they're going to sometimes even pretend to be and be like "Oh, how are you feeling after losing?", they're not being genuine, they're not being real, they're just doing that so that you cannot possibly think about anything else, you gotta focus on the fact that you lost. The only reason why they're doing that is to make you feel bad about yourself and about the fact that you failed, basically.

• Why would you rub something in someone’s face? To shame them or to make them feel better?

If you rub something in someone’s face, you do that to shame them, sometimes to annoy them even. And when you think of this idea of rubbing something in someone’s face, I mean, literally speaking, that’s really annoying, right? If I just take anything, a towel or something and I just start rubbing it in your face, that's annoying. So I think that that's where this expression comes from. You've got this idea of someone taking a situation, something hurtful, something maybe embarrassing that happened to you and it's as if they took this situation and started rubbing it in your face. A lot of times they will get even enjoyment out of that, from seeing you suffer, and that's why they'll repeat like "Oh, you lost?". That's what they get out of it. They get the enjoyment of seeing you feel bad about this thing over and over again. So, that's not nice at all.

• Listen to these two people. They both won but one is rubbing the win in someone else’s face? Number 1. Hey Paul, I know I won but that was a good game. Number 2. Paul. I just won and you did not.

Number 2 won and obviously now is now rubbing it in Paul’s face. See? I told you! That can be pretty annoying!

May the best man win

'Good luck, buddy! May the best man win!'

• When do you say “may the best man win”? Before a competition or after?

You say “May the best man win” before a competition starts. I guess in theory you’re supposed to say that to show that you hope that the most deserving person wins but... it's not always like that.

• Who usually says “May the best man win”? One of the people who are competing or the judge?

Anyone can say it. Whoever is judging the competition can say it but even the competitors themselves, they could say, although, and this is what I was referring to, they might say this sarcastically, in which case, it’s not very nice, you know, when you wish the other person would lose and say "may the best man win" or when you're feeling super cocky or confident that you're going to win and you want to intimidate the other person, you may tell them "may the best man win" with a smile on your face, meaning "I'm going to win and you're not". But, in theory, that means "I hope that whoever is better wins".

• Do you think people really think “may the best man win”?

I think... they don’t. I think, especially if you’re the one competing, I bet you’re thinking “I wanna win". I don't think they people, when they're competing, they're like “Oh, I really hope that if they’re better than me, they will win”. I don't think people think that way. It'd be nice but people are just like "Me, win, now!".

In your face!

'Ha! In your face, man!'

• Is “in your face” an exclamation of triumph or failure?

“In your face!” is an exclamation of triumph, but only under specific circumstances. I'll explain to you in a second.

• When would you use the expression “in your face”? After someone doubted you or when someone believed in you?

You would use the expression “In your face” after winning when someone was doubting the fact that you were going to win. This is really important. So you’ve got someone telling you “There’s not way you’re going to win”, then you do win, then you can turn and say “Ha! In your face!”. As a way of saying "See, I told you!", "Take this".

• Is the expression “in your face” aggressive?

I mean... It’s not the nicest thing you can say. It is a little aggressive, you know, like "Ha! See? I told you! Take that!" so I guess it's a little aggressive but especially if you’re with friends, it can just be a funny exclamation and nothing more. You're playing a game with your friends, they're making fun of you because you're losing, then you win and then you're like "Ha! In your face! I told you I would win!"

• Do you ever use the expression “in your face”?

I am not a very competitive person. Actually, no wait, scratch that, I just don’t like competing because I don’t like losing but if someone tells me I can’t do something, and I do it and I succeed at it, rest assured I’ll make sure to tell “In your face!”. Well, maybe not directly to them, but I'll think "Ha! In your face!". I find it a little rude, so unless I say it as a joke, I wouldn't say it.

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