Posted by: bkivey | 26 June 2010

Saturday . . . On The Pitch

It is nearly 8000 miles from Rustenburg, SA to the nearest large American city in Miami, FL, and the US soccer team will no doubt be feeling every one of them. In a repeat of the 2006 World Cup Ghana knocked off the US, although they needed 120 minutes to do it this time, and the US did win their Group. The US team went to their standard playbook of allowing a goal early, then coming out on fire in the second half, but it wasn’t enough this time, even at the end when the Americans did the soccer equivalent of pulling the goalie by putting all eleven men forward.  Congratulations to the Ghanaians, who displayed wicked ball skills and keeper Richard Kingston, who was electric in goal.

Note to US Soccer Federation

Do you think we could get a cool nickname for our national team? Ghana has its Black Stars, England the Three Lions, Australia its Socceroos. I know that blue and white are the traditional colors for US teams, but blue has been done to death: witness France’s Les Bleus, Italy’s Azzurri, Japan’s Blue Samurai, Uruguay’s La Celeste, and Argentina’s Abicelestes. We need a nickname that speaks to our national heritage while sounding a little intimidating, a name like Algeria’s Desert Foxes or South Korea’s Taeguk Warriors. Think about it.

Word Watch

I am not a fan of Americans who use British English in an attempt to sound sophisticated. While there are instances where a British word can be more appropriate than an American one, substituting car park for parking lot, for example, isn’t one of them. Even more egregious is when an American uses British English incorrectly, thus compounding the problem. A great example of this occurred in a recent newspaper photo caption where people “queued up in line” for the latest Apple product.

“Queued up in line”? That’s like saying “splashed by wet water” or “fell in cold snow”. It’s redundant. One may ‘queue up’ or ‘line up’ or ‘stand in line’ and in New York City one might ‘stand on line’ but if one ‘ queues up in line’ then they are doing the same thing twice at the same time, which is grammatically incorrect and physically impossible. Standard American English properly used will cover nearly any conceivable situation, and you won’t look like an idiot using it.

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