At the End of the Day, It’s a Book of Two Halves

Football Cliches by Adam HurreyIf you watch a lot of soccer on TV, the commentary has a way of getting under your skin (after entering through the ears, obviously). And the blandishments of pundits, repeated ad nauseam, have obviously altered the way the common punter talks about the game. Sitting in the Globe Pub, I’ve heard cliches strung together with such practiced efficiency that I’ve Q-tipped the wax out of my earholes before realizing that “it was always going wide” or “they’re not going to win if they don’t take their chances” came not from the speakers above but from the table nearby.

Adam Hurrey has done a marvelous job of cataloging, defining, and pricking with a sharp needle the most notorious Football Cliches. And, as I make clear in my review for Booklist, you don’t have to be British to savor them.

A book about the hackneyed vocabulary of English football (that is, soccer) isn’t quite as odd a duck as you might think. Given the exploding popularity of the sport here, chances are someone you know has developed a puzzling allegiance to a Premier League team and now refers to the field as a pitch. Even if you favor the American brand, TV’s reliance on commentators such as Ian Darke and Adrian Healey means that the exploits of our players are often narrated (and goals are often said to be scored) with aplomb: not only has England exported its game, it also has exported its clichés.

Click here to read the whole thing. And then buy a copy for yourself and one for a friend.

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