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Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by southpaw817, Oct 23, 2007.
The Americans using British terms must be Loyalists and thereby charged with treason.
And leave their lorry in the carpark because they ran out of petrol and then take the tube to meet their mates down by the pub
Thing is--for many Americans, watching English soccer is their only real experience with soccer as a spectator sport. OTOH, they probably have encountered elevators, bars, and cars right here in the US.
Just as they have encountered fields, uniforms and 2-nothing scorelines.
"Nil" is a word. It's only a word. It's used in all sorts of contexts ("the chances of the bill passing in the senate are effectively nill", to use a common one) throughout the anglosphere.
Attempting to assign nationalities to words and then limit their usage is nothing more than an absurd sort of jingoism. If someone wants to call a car hood a bonnet, who are you to question that?
Unless those are the terms you grew up with, using terms like "bonnet" or "nil" is an affectation that is often meant to convey something about the speaker. It's a free country, of course, but the soccer fans who insist on using "nil" are often the type who sneeringly call American football "pointyball" or something similarly stupid.
It would be the equivalent of me moving to London and insisting on refusing to call the sport "football."
Language in itself is an affectation.
So is pretending that throwing out all standards of linguistic accuracy is a virtue.
Fair enough, but come on. If you're watching only/primarily English soccer, it's hard not to pick up the lingo. Tennis fans say "Love" instead of "zero", you know.
Why do people care about this? A soccer uniform IS a "kit" in Britain. Why does it matter if an American, for whatever reason, uses the British term? It's a bizarre thing to take a stand on, IMHO.
These are the only questions that matter in this ridiculous thread. I mean, Jesus H. Pedant...
I consider ignorance to be a bad thing. So sue me.
I'm astonished that this thread is still going, frankly. Details about the origin of the word "soccer" notwithstanding, I'm not sure I see the point anymore. Just enjoy the game. Or match.
Ignorance of what?
Exactly! Saying stuff like "40 - love" or "2-nil" is done without thinking about it. It's not like people are consciously going out of their way to impress or sound more sophisticated. It's just human nature/habit to pick up on terms and expressions that others use.
Sorry, but that's hogwash.
Why would you just be allowed to "pick-up" the lingo when you're a child growing up?? How do you explain teenagers and adults that move to the USA from a country with a different language that are able to speak perfect English after a while ... and with an American accent? Not a British or Australian accent. Or how do you explain people losing foreign accents after they live in a new country for a decade or two?
Yeah, if you spend enough time listening to people ,you'll end up talking like them naturally. It's not artificial or intended to impress necessarily. It's ingrained in our DNA to converse with people in a dialect that they most easily understand ... which means picking up on the dialect of those around us.
The odd thing is that Sy's viewpoint doesn't stand up to any sort of criticism... like, he accepts love as jargon but rejects the idea that things like pitch and kit can be considered soccer jargon. But that doesn't make any sense: at some point, love wasn't tennis jargon at all but a "foreign" piece of slang that was being copied for no real reason whatsoever. There's really no valid reason that a tennis game can't be scored zero-zero, fifteen-zero, etc. except for a century plus of people accepting "love". Language constantly evolves, sometimes words are loaned in from other languages and dialects and oftentimes the meanings of words evolve and take on new contexts in other settings. There's really no logical reason to say pitch, kit, et al. can't be soccer jargon except that he doesn't like it. His refusal to accept that this development has happened organically and not through affectation is also baffling. It's all a bit strange coming from one of the more level headed posters around BS.
Frankly, the idea that dialect is (or should be) location locked is a little bit disconcerting, especially in a discussion that involves two dialects of the same language. If English speakers use "pitch" and "field" synonymously, then the two words mean the same thing and therefore one is not ever less correct than the other. The fact that speakers in a certain area may be ignorant of that usage does not change it's accuracy. Boot and trunk are two words that mean the same thing and can therefore be used interchangeably, the idea that doing so would imply something about the character of the speaker is borderline illogical, based on nothing more than your own personal biases.
"Love" has never been used to refer to a score of zero in any sport except tennis. The origins of the term involve nothing but tennis. "Pitch" and "kit" are NOT used exclusively for soccer in Britain, where cricket, rugby and even American football players play on a pitch wearing their kits.
Why is that distinction so difficult for you to understand?
THIS is the ignorance I was referring to, Timon19.
So what? It's much more common for an American to follow/be aware of English soccer versus rugby or cricket.
The "distinction" you're so worked up about doesn't matter.
Just because something doesn't matter to you, doesn't mean that it doesn't matter. I happen to think that knowledge is better than ignorance. You apparently disagree.
Again, I must say how fascinating it is to see someone so willing to die on so small a hill.
I think you're bordering on killing the meaning of the word "ignorance" by using it so broadly in much the same way words like "hate", "racism", and "love" have been stripped of any real "punch" they may have had.
Nobody is dying on any hill. It is sort of amusing that you would preface your point about hyperbole in just that way.
What about not knowing that those supposedly soccer terms really are not soccer terms is not the very definition of ignorance?
Surely you understand that's a metaphor used in this very sort of context. Seems pretty appropriate, as you've doggedly been defending a particular rhetorical position to the (rhetorical) death as evidenced by many pages and multiple month's worth of earnest argument.
It's not about "not knowing". The person may be fully aware, and I'm sure you'd still find fault. Because your default position seems to be that it's an affectation first and foremost.
And if we really want to get pedantic, those terms most certainly ARE soccer terms. They're just not necessarily EXCLUSIVELY soccer terms. Hell, in the case of "kit", it's not necessarily a sports term in all its uses as a reference to clothing.
Using these terms in preference to the 'Murican alternatives != ignorance. And it doesn't always mean someone is putting on airs. Sometimes, people genuinely prefer them and don't pass judgement on those who don't conform to their standard (which, it seems, you are quite willing to do from the other end).
Of course I understand that it was a metaphor. That's why I characterized it as simply amusing, as opposed to full-blown hypocrisy. Your continuing to pretend that participating in a discussion, much of it debunking misconceptions about my position, in any way resembles death, does quite echo the sort of "killing" of words that you decried.
I have no doubt that lots of people, including many of those who have participated in this thread, had no idea that they are not exclusively soccer terms. What I "find fault" with is knowing better, and still defending their misuse in that way, indulging ignorance instead of correcting it. Ignorance is not a virtue.
Right. Which is exactly why using it only to refer to a soccer uniform is incorrect.
It does if you use them not knowing that they aren't exclusively soccer terms.
No, but it often does.
What does that mean, exactly? That not insisting that people use just the British terms for field or uniform in America ONLY for soccer is somehow noble? That, because people who use incorrect terms don't look down on those who use them correctly, I shouldn't correct their incorrect usage?
What part of that makes any sense whatsoever?
I would argue that Americans "preferring" to use British terms incorrectly (i.e., exclusively for soccer) when you know better is the very definition of "putting on airs." What possible other reason would there be for being purposely incorrect?
You appear to be saying that if one uses "kit" to refer to a soccer uniform, one should use "kit" for all other possible uses, lest they be using it "incorrectly". That's absurd. They are using it correctly in the context they choose to use it. It is a synonym, and language is not a rigid box of never-changing rules and uses, particularly English.
This is silliness.
It is exactly analogous to someone in America using the term "bonnet" instead of "hood." Both are usages of the British idiom instead of the American one, done out of either ignorance or affectation. You may be happy to encourage either one of those, I am not.
Whether you like it or not, there are incorrect usages of words. Pretend otherwise all you want, but that doesn't change anything.