Team GB
Posted: 13 September 2008 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I noticed this name during the Olympics along with organisations called “Sport England” and “UK Sport”. The latter conforms to the English-language convention of an adjective preceding a noun. “Sport England” is what? Two nouns?

I read in the UK press (Press UK) today of Team McCain so it is clearly well established but when did it start, pondwise? I remember first noticing it in European Formula One Racing Car racing where we got Team Renault, Team BMW, etc. Why not The BMW Team or BMW Team? In old British soccer team nomenclature it is usually noun/adjective like Bolton Wanderers or Hamilton Academicals. An exception is “united” teams like Manchester United not United Manchester.

And potty-mouthed celebrity cook Gordon Ramsay has recently opened a posh greasy-spoon called “Restaurant Gordon Ramsay” rather than “The Gordon Ramsay Restaurant” or “Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant”. Clearly his Team PR think the former has a certain indefinable Continental cachet manifested as small, artfully-arranged, overpriced and unfilling portions. “Fish & Chips Harry Ramsden” would never work.

[ Edited: 13 September 2008 11:27 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 13 September 2008 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I suspect this may be part of a much more far-reaching phenomenon. More and more things get publicly spoken about, or written about, nowadays, by people whose grasp of the language they are using leaves a great deal to be desired. Prominence, or even world fame, in any particular field, does not confer facility or skill with the spoken or written word. But human nature being what it is, the pronouncements of prominent persons often carry an undeserved weight, and the media of mass communication may give them a very wide circulation. If the dean of a university faculty had used the word “normalcy” eighty years ago in a public address, he would probably have been sneered at. The president of a great country used it --- and presto! In a few short years it has become common currency, even if some diehards would still rather choke than say it (to me, it sounds as aberrant as “abnormalcy”, a word which I occasionally use deliberately, if I hear someone say “normalcy").

I’m on your side, venomousbede, but I doubt if there’s anything you can do about “Sport England”. See if you can get your MP to bring it up in Parliament UK. But methinks thee will have to like it or loomp it, lad. It’s the way things are going.

Is this such a new thing, by the way? What about “Swiss Family Robinson”?

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Posted: 13 September 2008 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s copying the Germans.  Or maybe the French.  At least that’s what I think.

[ Edited: 13 September 2008 01:04 PM by plump ]
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Posted: 14 September 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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These are simply examples of “poetic inversion,” an old technique where the usual word order is reversed for effect. Although in these cases the “poetic” is liberally applied.

The “Team ____” form differs only in that it has become a snowclone (a cliche where one element is routinely varied, as in “____ is the new black"). This one, IIRC, did indeed get its start in Formula One racing before spreading to other sports and on to other endeavors.

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Posted: 14 September 2008 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here I am, sitting at the computer, and wearing a T-shirt that says, “Team Tandi” which is the first name of a friend who has MS and those of us wearing this T-Shirt supported her for an MS walk.

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Posted: 17 September 2008 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’d bet on a motor-racing origin, not least because of the formation 57 years ago of a motor-racing team called Ecurie Ecosse, which translates as Team Scotland (OK, “Stables Scotland”, literally, but idiomatically it’s used as the word for motor-racing teams, I believe ...)

I’d suspect that the popularity of the formation is due to prosody: Team GB, when spoken, puts the emphasis on “team” and sounds stronger than “the GB team”.

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Posted: 17 September 2008 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It’s a bit irritating to me. Others have wondered why it isn’t ‘Team UK’ - do they intend to exclude Northern Ireland?

There was some discussion about it on David Crystal’s blog in Augustm (sorry, I don’t know how to create a link).

http://david-crystal.blogspot.com/2008/08/on-team-gb.html

Margaret

[ Edited: 17 September 2008 12:22 PM by Zirbelnuss ]
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Posted: 17 September 2008 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It seems to be a common structure: Cricket Australia, Basketball New Zealand, Tennis Canada.

A bit zippier than “The Canadian Tennis Association” or some such.

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