Shortly before tonight’s Sprint Cup race at Daytona, NASCAR announced that Team Penske driver A.J. Allmendinger was suspended for failing a drug test. Such is the nature of modern sports. Allmendinger isn’t the only one with a failure. The Associated Press, or at least Jenna Fryer, writing for the AP on Allmendinger’s situation, failed to meet the fundamental rule of all writing: making sure that the words you use mean what you think they mean. Fryer badly misuses the word “prolific” not just once, but twice, apparently thinking it means something like high profile. Just in case Ms. Fryer or one of her editors is reading this, a common synonym for prolific is “fecund”, though if they don’t know what prolific means, they’re not likely to even recognize fecund. Lest the AP think we’re just giving them a hard time, we’re here to help. For their erudition, after the jump is Dictionary.com‘s definition of prolific.
Allmendinger was hired in late December by Penske to fill the seat that opened when Kurt Busch split with the organization. It’s the most prolific ride of Allmendinger’s career, and both driver and team seemed thrilled with the pairing even as Allmendinger has had his struggles in the No. 22 Dodge.
He was 23rd in the Sprint Cup Series standings heading into Daytona, where he won an emotional Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race in January shortly after his hiring at Penske.
He’s the most prolific driver since Jeremy Mayfield in 2009 was suspended for a failed drug test. Mayfield has fought NASCAR over the test since, and has not raced a NASCAR event since.
adjective1. producing offspring, young, fruit, etc., abundantly; highly fruitful: a prolific pear tree.2. producing in large quantities or with great frequency; highly productive: a prolific writer.3. profusely productive or fruitful (often followed by in or of ): a bequest prolific of litigations.4. characterized by abundant production: a prolific year for tomatoes.