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  1. #1
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    workhorse vs warhorse

    on certain threads discussing pieces of music commonly used or overused by figureskaters, i've noticed the term warhorse being frequently used to refer to such. when i discussed this with my boyfriend when we were watching the recent US nationals, he corrected me by saying it's workhorse, not warhorse. now, im no native speaker (he is), and a lot of people, including native speakers themselves, have a lot of grammatical (e.g. could of instead of could HAVE) and linguistic errors when posting online, but i would like to know the proper term.

  2. #2

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    I know warhorse is correct and I've never heard workhorse used to describe music. Here's a link for warhorse.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/warhorse

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by shan View Post
    I know warhorse is correct and I've never heard workhorse used to describe music. Here's a link for warhorse.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/warhorse
    thank you. well, my bf never particularly referred the workhorse term as to just music, but more in general, something that is being depended on all the time.

  4. #4

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    When I hear the expression "warhorse" I think of someone who has weathered a lot of change and conflict, such as a longtime employee who has survived many bosses and economic ups and downs, and is "battle scarred".

    I think of a "workhorse" as someone who toils anonymously or with little public recognition doing the necessary work.

    In terms of skating music, I guess you could call an often-used piece of music either one, depending on your perspective. If you think of the music as being ill-used and abused, then it could be a warhorse. If you see the music as dutifully getting the job done without creating much excitement, then it could be a workhorse.

  5. #5
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    I think the definitions provided in the link by the OP are accurate.

    Warhorse:
    Noun 1. warhorse - a work of art (composition or drama) that is part of the standard repertory but has become hackneyed from much repetition
    So overused standard music like Carmen would properly be referred to as a warhorse.

    Workhorse:
    Noun 1. workhorse - machine that performs dependably under heavy use; "the IBM main frame computers have been the workhorse of the business world"
    Workhorse has a different meaning than what is generally used in reference to overused skating music. There's no pejorative sense with workhorse as there can be with warhorse, and typically there's a pejorative meaning being conveyed when people comment on overused skating music.

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