The Improbable Bulk
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
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A Fan Picking Linguistic Nits
I think we English speaking cycling fans have some linguistically interesting traits... Please excuse spelling below... Some of these have changed over the last 20 years or so... at least from my perspective.
We alternate between Yellow Jersey and Maillot Jaune...
It is always Tour de France, and never Tour of France... With certain notable exceptions we pronounce France somewhat like the French do. And yet when we talk about the peloton entering Paris, we pronounce it as Americans do, and not as the French do.
We use the French peloton, and any English term for the main group of riders has never hit my ears. But I have no idea what the French term for a breakaway is...
Some common items have French names and no English equivalents are commonly used, like musettes and derailleurs...
And it seems that almost everything else (other than locations) are English... even abbreviations, KOM, King of the Mountain, Polka Dot jersey. Green Jersey, White Jersey. Feed Zone, sprints, road rash... GC, Points Leader, Teams, Stages, Rest Days....
I think it is fun to watch the cultural changes and I think more and more linguistic mixing will happen with time... Who knows, there may come a time when our great grandchildren will watch historical video of the 2007 tour and think it strange that we used to call them breakaways...
I know I have probably missed much, since this is a spur of the moment posting. Any other thoughts?
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson