Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-18-07, 03:33 PM   #1
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
Thread Starter
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,402
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
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
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-07, 03:47 PM   #2
ettsn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's not purely a TdF thing, we call the Vuelta and the Giro by their local names, without resorting to Spanish or Italian for anything else during those weeks. I think a lot of the other stuff is French, simply because that's who named them. Derailleur was coined by a Frenchman, just as fajita or carne asada was coined by a Mexican. Who wants chicken in a flat, corn disc? I'd rather have a taco. It only becomes disingenuine when you invent new terms for things, simply to make them sound more exotic. Like Hagen Dazs.
ettsn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-07, 03:49 PM   #3
ettsn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One more thing I thought of: It's Paris (in English) when you ride into it on the TdF, but it's Paris (par-ee) when naming the Paris-Roubaix, no? I think it's because that's the name of the event. A trademark if you will.
ettsn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-07, 05:11 PM   #4
40 Cent
fixed for the long haul
 
40 Cent's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Brooklyn
Bikes: 1975 Raleigh Professional, 1990 Cannondale 3.0 Touring bike
Posts: 366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Obviously depends a lot on where a sport started and developed like baseball in the US. I imagine most of the world borrows the American terms for that. Interesting that the French use "sprinteur" ("sprint" according to Le Petit Robert came into the French language in 1885) but "grimpeur" for climber.
40 Cent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-07, 07:26 PM   #5
fixiechick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Petropavlovsk, Republic of Vinostan
Bikes:
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
...any English term for the main group of riders has never hit my ears.
The field, the main bunch/group, the pack?
fixiechick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-07, 02:54 PM   #6
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
Thread Starter
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,402
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixiechick View Post
The field, the main bunch/group, the pack?
True, I gues I have heard them referred to as the pack or field...

And when ettsn mentioned Paris-Roubaix... It reminded me that even places aren't consistent, we anglicize Paris, and the Eiffel tower, but not the Champs-Elysees or the Arc de Triomphe.

Oh well, it has been a great race this year, and a French stage winner too!
__________________
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
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-07, 04:49 PM   #7
fixiechick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Petropavlovsk, Republic of Vinostan
Bikes:
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does anyone know if the word peleton in French is used only in cycling, or if it's applied to other sports or non-sports situations?
fixiechick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-07, 05:00 PM   #8
40 Cent
fixed for the long haul
 
40 Cent's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Brooklyn
Bikes: 1975 Raleigh Professional, 1990 Cannondale 3.0 Touring bike
Posts: 366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixiechick View Post
Does anyone know if the word peleton in French is used only in cycling, or if it's applied to other sports or non-sports situations?
Pelote is a ball, like a ball of wool, and peloton is a small ball, which, according to the dictionary was first applied to people in a military context (1578 -- related to the English word platoon -- huh, how do you like that?) and then to racers (horses, motercyclists, cyclists) at the end of the 19th century.

I think I'm going to call the main field the platoon from now on.
40 Cent is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:16 PM.