silly and off-topic

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 14 16:28:07 UTC 2002

In a message dated 6/13/02 10:28:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK writes:

>  >  what is the significance of an English boy turning his baseball cap
>  > around?  (Girls cannot do this.  Their ponytails stick out through the
>  > gap between the cloth and the adjustment band.)
>  What I don't understand is why you'd want to turn it around (or 'turn it
>  rouind', to talk like a local) if you're going to need to aim at something
>  and therefore keep the sun out of your eyes.  Oh, except that this is
>  England.  I'm wearing wool in the middle of June and it's been raining for
>  two weeks.  Ok, to keep the glare from the clouds out of your eyes.

The catcher on a baseball team wears a face mask---and you better believe he
needs it!---which covers the forehead and temples.  Hence he cannot wear a
cap with a bill facing towards the front.  No, he does not go bareheaded; he
wears his baseball cap turned around so that the bill is in the back.

Hence to an American it is perfectly natural to see a baseball cap worn
backwards---it is the recognition point of a catcher.

For some reason unknown to me (fashion?  political statement?) it is common
nowadays for African-Americans to wear baseball caps catcher-style, with the
bill to the back.

We now have two contradictory statements from England:

"'It's traditional Bash Street Kids, English schoolboy, turn your baseball
cap backwards and fire kind of thing,' said organiser Tom Wood."

implying that wearing baseball caps backwards is as English as Bashing Street
Kids,  and

"the redoubtable Prof. Trudgill went around
annoying us Yanks by asking:
Q: "What do you do to make a yank drop 50 degrees of intelligence?"
A: Turn his baseball cap around backwards."

implying that the English view wearing a hat backwards as a sign of stupidity.

       - Jim Landau

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