Win the day?

中国日报网 2015-02-13 11:14



Win the day?

Reader question:

Please explain “the day” in this headline: Customers win the day as supermarket cuts its parking fees.


My comments:

There’s a dispute between a supermarket and its customers over parking fees. After some considerable hassle and negotiations, the supermarket finally relents and agrees to cut the parking fees.

In other words, customers win out.

They win, period. End of matter. Game over.

“Win the day” is a set phrase, meaning someone wins in the end.

It helps to master this phrase together with, say, “at the end of the day” and “call it a day”.

Let’s take a cricket match, for example. I don’t play the game but choose to pick cricket because I, frankly speaking, can not pick a better example. One of the first things I learned about this British game is that it is such a long game that literally it never ends – that is, not until it rains or the sun sets.

Thankfully, of course, it rains a lot in Britain. When it rains too hard, further play is impossible and so they have to call it a day, that is, calls an end to the game.

Or after sunset when it becomes too dark to see anything.

Anyways, at the end the day, whichever teams has the better score wins the day, i.e. wins the day’s competition.

Test cricket, or the formal competition featuring national teams, is known to last four or five days but in informal matchups, sometimes you need to have additional rules such as having the game ended when bad weather intervenes or when it gets too dark. In this situation, it is pretty clear that whoever wins at the end of the competition wins the day.

In other words, when you have to call it a day you call it a day. There’s nothing you can do about it.

In our example, it is a travesty, if you ask me, for the supermarket to charge customers exorbitant parking fees. If you ask me, parking fees should be free. Customers, after all are its breadwinners without whom it cannot survive. To further fleece these patrons is, therefore, contrary to how one should treat one’s bread and butter, i.e. with gratitude and good will.

Providing customers with free parking, which at least some supermarkets do, makes it easier for people to come (saving time in addition to money) and is a gesture that you welcome your customers with open arms.

Anyways, after a long battle, perhaps even longer than a cricket match, customers won out, forcing the supermarket to reduce fees.

In short, patrons won the day.

In other words, they won at the end of the day, that is, when the dust settles and when all is said and done.

Got it?

Alright, here are media examples of “win the day”:


1. In a new research, scientists have estimated that in a ferocious battle between the killer whale and the great white shark, it would be the whale that would emerge the winner.

According to a report in the Express, the research was carried out off California’s Farallon Islands.

Rather than brute strength or ferocity, it is the killer whale’s superior brainpower that wins the day.

Killer whales have found the shark’s weakness - they simply tip it upside down, which sends the creature into a trance and it drowns.

Once dead, the whale can rip open the shark and feed on its nutritious liver.

According to author Jonnie Hughes, “The surprising truth is that sharks can be rendered harmless fairly easily - you just flip them upside-down. To calm itself, the shark releases serotonin and falls into a trance.”

- Whale can beat shark in fierce combat,, March 1, 2010.


2. Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has opened up about Romney’s loss at the polls, and where he places the blame for the campaign’s defeat.

Stevens, whose role within the campaign came under increasing scrutiny as the year went on, said in a Washington Post column Wednesday that in spite of Romney’s loss, he and his ideals “carried the day.”

“On Nov. 6, that wasn’t enough to win. But it was enough to make us proud and to build on for the future,” Stevens said.

Appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday, Stevens highlighted two key weaknesses that, if given the chance, he would go back and fix.


And as for moving forward, Stevens urged Republicans to move on, content that they had “won the day” if not the election, and presumably also not placing some of the blame for Romney’s defeat at the feet of his chief strategist.

“Losing is just losing,” Stevens wrote. “It’s not a mandate to throw out every idea that the candidate championed, and I would hope it’s not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire.”

- Chief Romney strategist: Candidate ‘won the day,’ if not election,, November 29, 2012.


3. The 2015 Asian Cup was a fantastic success for Australian football, in terms of the Socceroos and tournament crowds, but has failed to hit huge heights in local TV ratings.

Three hundred and thirty-one thousand people tuned in to watch the live final, Australia against South Korea, on Fox Sports and 1.352 million, Brisbane excluded, watched on the ABC. On the same evening 972,000 watched the Australian Open women’s final on Seven.

The numbers for the Asian Cup final provided a strong result, but it wasn’t repeated across the whole competition. For the semi-final, the Socceroos against UAE, Fox Sports received 266,000 and the ABC 730,000. However, this game was up against Nick Kyrgios’ tennis match against Andy Murray, which won the day on free-to-air TV with 1.78 million across the five capital cities.

Australia’s quarter-final, against China in Brisbane, was watched by 218,000 on Fox Sports and the replay two hours later – it wasn’t live – on the ABC garnered 602,000 people. The audience for the other quarters was small on Fox Sports with 55,000 for Korea Replubic versus Uzbekistan, 67,000 for Iran versus Iraq and 107,000 for UAE versus Japan.

The lack of live free-to-air TV coverage of the Socceroos’ other games was an issue, with the Kuwait game getting 186,000 on Fox and the ABC replay 344,000. The Oman game got 246,000 and 384,000, respectively, and the Korea game 187,000 and 350,000.

- Asian Cup fails to fire on TV,, February 7, 2015.






About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:陈丹妮)

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