[Ads-l] turf

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Sep 10 21:51:15 EDT 2018


This past weekend my 13-year-old grandson and I went to a high school football game, during which a rainstorm struck.  As we sat watching wetly, I remarked, "I reckon the turf is getting all torn up."  Grandson replied, "It isn't turf; it's grass."

I realized that his sole association of the word "turf" is "artificial turf," from which his "turf" represents a clipping (or perhaps from "astroturf").  Cf. the orthopedic term "turf toe."  So we now have the anomalous situation in which there exist two contrasting kinds of surfaces for a football or soccer field, referred to (respectively) as "turf" and "turf."

--Charlie


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


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