Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman + "It’s called football"

I do not care about football, or soccer, or any other form of athletic endeavour, quite frankly. Nor am I an American. However.

If you’re British and you’re tempted to complain about what you consider to be an annoying Americanism, consider this: nine times out of ten, that word that is annoying you just an archaic term that originated in the United Kingdom. It has not been invented by some upstart superpower to irritate you. It is in fact most likely the direct result of the extended colonial enterprise conducted by your very own beloved homeland. Congratulations!

Immigrants have a funny tendency to cling on to the traditions, methods, and accents of their home country as they remember it. Nostalgia, perhaps? This is why, when my German mother appeared in post-war Canada in 1950, her teachers thought she was dumb for not being able to read Fraktur (the German alphabet), which had gone out of use in Germany ten years prior, two years before my mother was even born. That’s a thing immigrants often do. They cling, far longer than their home countries do.

This is why North Americans still use the word “gotten” while the English have long since abandoned it, why the English say “I am sat” and we still say “I am sitting” like grammar geeks, and why mocking our accents as “not real English” kind of makes you a dick.

North Americans have a modified version of the accent and language of the people who landed where they are. We’re not quite living fossils, but when it comes to language, the way we speak is evidence of a long history of empire, immigration, and shifting pronunciations. All of our accents have drifted since 1650, but North Americans’ have drifted less than those of the English. You’ve changed. We mostly haven’t. Who’s authentic now, eh?

Soccer is called soccer because at one point, presumably around the time when there was an influx of immigration from the UK to North America, it was the hip thing to do among the probably bearded and flashy young Englishmen to call association football "soccer," just like it was the hip thing to call rugby football “rugger.” The English have forgotten that this was at one point their very own hipster affectation, but the descendants of those stylish and on-trend sports fans have not.

There are things you may legitimately blame Americans for originating; let’s start with their baffling pronunciation for the letter Z. If we could all get on board with Z being pronounced “zed”, that’d be a fine thing.

So before you get tetchy about how North Americans speak and what words we use, remember that whole colonialist thing. That irritation you’re feeling is the unintended consequence of empire. Blame the Queen, or something.

Also it’s not just the US.  The majority of Oceania, Japan, Korea, and South Africa don’t call it Football either.

It’s sort of a general rule of thumb, soccer is used when a different sport using a ball and foot is more popular, in said country, thus taking the title football. For most of ireland for example, football means gaelic football

(Source: ohgodbenny, via white-eagle)