I recently discussed the expression “on the night,” meaning “on the night in question,” “night of the game/event/performance,” etc; that post has a link to the similar “on the day.” The phrase came to mind yesterday, when I was saw the online New York Times coverage of an epic Manchester City-Real Madrid Champions League match.
For those not versed in Champions League soccer/football (and for those who are, correct me if I botch this), it’s a tournament where, once the field gets down to sixteen teams, each contest consists of two games, and the team with the highest aggregate score advances. In this case, Manchester City won the first leg 4-3, but Real Madrid advanced on aggregate because they won the second leg 3-1.
Thus the caption should have read “on the night”; “on a night” is meaningless, to my ears. My theory is that a British person (perhaps Rory Smith, the author of the article) or someone well-versed in NOOBs originally wrote “on the night,” but some well-meaning but ill-informed person changed it.
Any other theories?