Versus or “vs.” (preposition, “vur-suh s”) – against, used especially to indicate an action brought by one party against another in a court of law, or to denote competing teams or players in a sports contents.
If Competition is the most basic logical component to allowing us to compare ourselves against others, versus is the structural element that provides the forum or “playing field” for competition to take place. Whether physically written down or just mentally understood, as soon as we place that short phrase (“versus”) between ourselves and something or someone else, the dynamics of the relationship has immediately changed. No longer are we just wistfully participating in an activity, careless of the result.
No, with the arrival of versus comes a well-established yet amazingly unwritten framework of rules, expectations and possible outcomes: A starting line that ensures each person starts from the same place. A set of rules (albeit these can sometimes be conveniently defined) to govern how and when to correctly execute the activity. A score keeping device for tracking “points” earned when the competition involves repeated activities. And, of course, defined and unquestionable outcomes, Win or Lose, that have major implications of their own (see Win and Lose for more).
With this, versus can immediately thrust us into the unforgiving and often rewarding arena of competition where we can truly learn about ourselves and the limits of our abilities. Thus, versus creates the opportunity for us to show The Drive.