A New Use For the Verb Pitted?
When I read the following in a movie review, I assumed that the word pitted was a typo for the word pitched in the sense of presented:
In its tireless promo campaign, the film is pitted as a racial comedy…
However, when I did a little exploring, I found numerous examples of the verb pitted being used as an apparent synonym for presented or cast:
In her role as Gabriela in the Dukes of Hazzard movie, Manterola demonstrated her bilingual ability as her character was pitted as Bo Duke’s love interest.
Known for his role on Blue Collar Comedy, where he was pitted as the scotch-drinking jokester, White has twice been nominated for a Grammy.
I hate to see this get pitted as an either/or discussion.
The GCF has been pitted as a key element in reaching an international climate deal on schedule next year in Paris, particularly in relation to the thorny issue of climate finance.
The most common meanings of pit as a verb (including the use of the past participle as a modifier) are derived from the noun meaning “a hole in the ground”:
to put someone or something (like vegetables) into a pit
The pitted potatoes will sprout and decay less and keep more plump [sic] and crisp than those kept in a cellar.
to make small depressions in something
Is your car pitted with lots of small dents caused by a hailstorm?
to put an animal in a pit or enclosure to fight
An unlimited number of cocks are pitted, of which only the last surviving bird is accounted the victor.
to make a pit stop (automobile racing)
Those competitors who had pitted in the early laps to switch tires could race for a lengthier period of time.
to set in conflict against another
Employees are pitted against each other in positions or tasks that allow only one winner to emerge from deliberate battles, creating many losers.
Used in the sense of setting people or things in conflict with one another, pit is usually used with against:
Indeed, with power divided and ambition pitted against ambition, it is sometimes a wonder that the public service works as well as it does!
A dispute over money has pitted the son of slain gangster Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno against former bookmaker and friend Louis “Lou the Shoe” Santos.
It is a war of cultures and ideals, of ideas pitted against ideas.
If you find yourself writing the phrase “pitted as,” you may want to rethink your sentence.
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