why do they call it soccer in america
New Zealand's largest newspaper is deeply conflicted. With the World Cup underway in Brazil, should
The New Zealand Herald refer to the "global round-ball game" as "soccer" or "football"? The question to readers, and the readers have spoken. It's "football"Бby a wide margin. We in the U. S. , of course, would disagree. And now we have a clearer understanding of why. In May, Stefan Szymanski, a sports economist at the University of Michigan, debunking the notion that "soccer" is a American invention. In fact, it's a British import. And the Brits used it oftenБuntil, that is, it became too much of an Americanism for British English to bear. The story begins, like many good stories do, in a pub. As early as the Middle Ages, Szymanski explains, the rough outlines of soccerБa game, a ball, feetБappear to have been present in England. But it wasn't until the sport became popular among aristocratic boys at schools like Eton and Rugby in the nineteenth century that these young men tried to standardize play. On a in October 1863, the leaders of a dozen clubs met at the Freemasons' Tavern in London to establish "a definite code of rules for the regulation of the game. Б They did just that, forming the Football Association. The most divisive issue was whether to permit "hacking," or kicking an opponent in the leg (the answer, ultimately, was 'no'). But that wasn't where the controversy ended. In 1871, another set of clubs met in London to codify a version of the game that involved more use of the handsБa variant most closely associated with the Rugby School. "From this point onwards the two versions of football were distinguished by reference to their longer titles, Rugby Football and Association Football (named after the Football Association)," Szymanski writes. "The rugby football game was shortened to 'rugger,'" while "the association football game was, plausibly, shortened to 'soccer. '" Both sports fragmented yet again as they spread around the world.
The colloquialism "soccer" caught on in the United States in the first decade of the twentieth century, in part to distinguish the game from American football, a hybrid of Association Football and Rugby Football. (Countries that tend to use the word "soccer" nowadaysБ Бusually have another sport called "football. ") In support of this theory, Szymanski cites a 1905 letter to the editor of The New York Times from Francis Tabor of New York, who warned of the spreading "heresy" of the word "socker": It seems a thousand pities that in reporting Association football matches THE NEW YORK TIMES, in company with all the other newspapers, should persistently call the game "Socker. " In the first place, there is no such word, and in the second place, it is an exceedingly ugly and undignified one. You may search the English papers through and through, and in all the long columns of descriptions of games you will not find even "Soccer" (which is probably the word intended. ) As a matter of fact, it was a fad at Oxford and Cambridge to use "er" at the end of many words, such as foot er, sport er, and as Association did not take an "er" easily, it was, and is, sometimes spoken of as Soccer.
If the word "soccer" originated in England, why did it fall into disuse there and become dominant in the States? To answer that question, Szymanski counted the frequency with which the words "football" and soccer" appeared in American and British news outlets as far back as 1900. In England, rugby football was shortened to 'rugger,' while association football was shortened to 'soccer. ' What he found is fascinating: "Soccer" was a recognized term in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century, but it wasn't widely used until after World War II, when it was in vogue (and interchangeable with "football" and other phrases like "soccer football") for a couple decades, perhaps because of the influence of American troops stationed in Britain during the war and the allure of American culture in its aftermath. In the 1980s, however, Brits began rejecting the term, as soccer became a more popular sport in the United States. In recent decades, "The penetration of the game into American culture, measured by the use of the name 'soccer,' has led to backlash against the use of the word in Britain, where it was once considered an innocuous alternative to the word 'football,'" Szymanski explains.
Football. Soccer. Calcio. We're not so different after all. But tell that to these guys: Why do Americans insist on calling the game they play with their hands "football" and the game they play with their feet "soccer"? I assume American Football is called such to mirror Rugby Football with which it has a tenuous similarity. Soccer is an Americanism for AsSOCiation Football It's not just "Americans"; the word football (used by itself) means several different games, in several different countries. Likewise soccer, is an abbreviation of "association football", the official name of the sport, as in FГdГration Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football). As for the thing about hands and feet, there are at least two theories about the origin of the word football, and one has it that the word originally meant "games played on foot", as opposed to the horseback sports favoured by the nobility in the Middle Ages. Some 150 years ago, there were no hard and fast rules for football, and players simply agreed (and disagreed) on their own rules. The type of football played at Rugby School - Rugby Football - was perhaps the first to be codified, but it still took years for definitive rules to be hammered out. Everyone else soon followed suit, and Association Football - soccer - began its stellar rise. In America, where rugby was king, Walter Camp started tinkering about with the aspects of rugby he found unsatisfactory and came up with American Football - simply called football in America, of course - but it wasn't until the innovation of the forward pass that it began to really diverge radically from rugby.
And so it went, giving rise to the four major types of football today and their two variations, which in alphabetical order are: American, Association, Australian, Canadian, Gaelic, Rugby League, and Rugby Union. In a historical sense, then, they all merit the name "football", but unlike British English, in which "football" and "soccer" were synonymous, American English first used the "football" slot for Camp's adaptation of rugby, leaving the "soccer" slot to be filled by 'the beautiful game'. Sorry to ruin the party of every one that likes to America bash, but although Soccer is derived from Association Football, it is far from an Americanisation. The game was called soccer in England as far back as the 1880s and is believed to have been coined by Charles Wreford Brown, born in Bristol and schooled at Chartehouse and Oxford. We use it less commonly now, but it is a fallacy to blame Americans for using a name we invented. I agree with Sam. The World Game is still generally called soccer in Australia, to differentiate it from Football, which is Australian Rules. Furthermore, soccer used to be pronounced "so-ser", as a diminutive of "association" with its soft "c". There is a corresponding diminutive of Rugby football - "rugger".
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