I found the phrase ‘get a workout’ of (the use) of diaeresis in the following sentence of an article titled “The Curse of the Diaeresis” in New Yorker magazine (April 2), which I think might be of interest for those who are particlular about the rules of writing:
The special tool we use here at The New Yorker for punching out the two dots that we then center carefully over the second vowel in such words as “naïve” and “Laocoön” will be getting a workout this year, as the Democrats coöperate to reëlect the President.
Those two dots, often mistaken for an umlaut, are actually a diaeresis (pronounced “die heiresses” [...]). The difference is that an umlaut is a German thing that alters the pronunciation of a vowel, and often changes the meaning of a word: schon (adv.), already; schön (adj.), beautiful.
As I am unfamiliar with the usage of “get a workout,” I checked a couple of dictionaries at hand and online:
Cambridge Dictionary Online defines workout simply as a physical exercise.
Oxford Advanced English Learner's Dictinary defines it as a period of physical exercise that you do to keep fit.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as:
a practice or exercise to test or improve one's fitness for athletic competition, ability, or performance
a test of one's ability, capacity, stamina, or suitability
an undertaking or plan intended to resolve a problem of indebtedness especially in lieu of bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings.
I thought definition 2. of Merriam-Webster is close to the meaning of “get a workout” used in the above quote, and guessed “getting a workout this year” means “is going to be examined or studied.”
Is my interpretation right? Is this expression frequently used in this sense as against ‘physical exercise or test’ as an established idiom?