British bias in the OED :-)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 17 17:54:36 UTC 2012

On Dec 17, 2012, at 12:29 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> Harvard is among the schools that refer to their "athletes" by color.
> There are other "color" schools, but their number pales next to the
> number of schools with animal or human mascots (and a handful of
> "other", such as "Buckeye"). The Tech used to report on team colors,
> although "maroon and gray" may be more of a mouthful than most reporters
> (even college ones) are willing to say.
>    VS-)

As far as I can tell, athletes here are not referred to as Blues, a moniker more regularly applied to alums (Old Blues); both current and former students are also Yalies.  That still leaves both Bulldogs (after the mascot, who is personally [or caninically] known as Handsome Dan N, where N is some Roman numeral) and Elis (after the founder, Eli(hu) Yale, whence "Bulldog Bulldog Bow-wow-wow, Eli Yale".
Either an embarrassment of riches or just an embarrassment, depending on your perspective.

> On 12/17/2012 11:23 AM, George Thompson wrote:
>> On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at>wrote:
>>> In that case, the school colors of all universities should be in the OED.
>>>  And the mascots and symbols of all big-league sports teams.
>> To the extent that readers may encounter sentences like "He is [a color]",
>> meaning "he is a graduate of [a school]".
>> I don't know how common this would be, in the U. S.  I attended Boston U.,
>> but do not expect to be referred to as a Red (except in the political
>> sense).  I do see the sports teams from Syracuse &c. referred to as The
>> Orangemen, &c; and the teams of other schools referred to as "The Badgers",
>> &c.  The overall context of whatever writing contains such designations
>> will probably make clear what they signify, but the sentence out of context
>> will puzzle.
>> Is this a problem that a comprehensive dictionary should try to address?
>> --
>> George A. Thompson
>> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>> Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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