"Word" words?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Apr 28 14:25:25 UTC 2008

At 4/27/2008 07:59 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 6:32 PM -0400 4/27/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>MLB Baseball, NFL Football, and probably a half0-dozen others.
>I would actually argue that these cases are different.  "MLB
>baseball" is guilty as charged (of redundancy), and its use (with
>which I'm unfamiliar)

You mean you never watch the Red Sox or the Yankees on TV?  Unamerican ADS!

>would result from opacity of the initialism,
>exactly as with HIV virus or PIN number, or ATM machine.  But "NFL
>football", like "NBA basketball" or "NHL hockey", is not redundant in
>the same way.

I agree; I was hasty and careless.  Substitute for NFL football MLS soccer.


>Rather, this refers to football as it is played (or
>regulated, or whatever) within the National Football League.  It is
>essentially coextensive (in the U.S., anyway) with "professional
>football", not with the sinfully redundant and non-occurring
>"professional football football".  Locutions like "NFL football" and
>"NBA basketball" are typically used contrastively w.r.t. "college
>football" (or maybe "CFL football"), "college basketball" (or perhaps
>"ABA basketball" if used by a historian or ESPN Classic host), etc.
>Along the same lines, I could imagine a non-redundant reference to
>"Linguistics Department linguistics" as against "English Department
>linguistics" or "Cognitive Science Department linguistics".
>>At 4/27/2008 11:13 AM, sagehen wrote:
>>>on 4/26/08 12:45 PM, Herb Stahlke at hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM wrote:
>>>>  And, of course, the Los Angeles Angels.
>>>>  Herb
>>>Some of these redundancies that involve foreign words naturalized into AE
>>>(e.g., "the El Nino," "the hoi polloi," "the Inuit"  et al.)can be forgiven
>>>on the ground that the article in the original language merges into a new,
>>>sometimes proper noun in English.  Not so with "HIV virus" & other similar
>>>ones based solely in English.
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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