Football (was: Baseball or Base Ball)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 20 15:49:36 UTC 2012

Probably it's not the main factor, given the markedness differences, but this is also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike the American football, the soccer-style one is spheroid, so it's closer to the prototype of "ball" than the football-that-takes-funny-bounces.


On Aug 20, 2012, at 7:47 AM, Damien Hall wrote:

> Geoff said:
> ===========================
> Not sure if this is connected, but Is football the only one of these in which the full name of the ball (e.g., "the football)" is routinely used, as in "He's going to have to start throwing the football," or "They don't have a lot of time to move the football"? You don't often hear "He can really hit the baseball" or "She's put a lot of spin on the tennis ball," etc. Maybe a shape thing (or more likely, a pretension thing).
> ==========================
> As a side-note, this use of the full name of the ball in commentaries on American football doesn't extend to UK commentaries on what _Brits_ call 'football', ie soccer.  We do still usually call the sport 'football' ('soccer' is heard, but not nearly as much);  when talking about the ball, though, it's just the ball.
> Is anyone familiar enough with (eg) Australian-rules football to comment?
> Damien
> PS  Sorry that my out-of-office message appeared in everyone's Inboxes this morning.  I didn't think that normally happened!
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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