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Soccer, football, meters, and yards

Here’s a note I sent to Karen Christensen, our CEO and one of the editors of the original Encyclopedia of World Sport, that will turn up eventually in the introduction to the third edition, I suppose, because it explains a point that is of great importance to a lot of readers around the world:

Dear Karen,

I don’t want to bother you with too many niggling editorial details, but here’s a question that I think has to do with our audience / the company’s outlook, so I thought you’d be the person to ask. It’s how we handle references to football and soccer, which I’ve come across a million times already in the process of going over articles to include in the third edition of World Sport. Below is a snippet from one article, as an example:

Before: “The memorabilia industry in the United States predominantly deals in baseball, football, basketball, and ice hockey. In Britain, the industry deals in golf, cricket, rugby, and soccer. . . .Bookstores have the most recent edition of sports memorabilia guides for major sports such as baseball, football, and golf. Antiques magazines and newspapers sometimes have an article on sports collectibles.”

(Proposed) after: “The memorabilia industry in the United States predominantly deals in baseball, (American) football, basketball, and ice hockey. In Britain, the industry deals in golf, cricket, rugby, and football (soccer). (In this encyclopedia, the terms “American football” and “football” are used throughout to refer to what are called “football” and “soccer” in the United States.) . . . . Bookstores have the most recent edition of sports memorabilia guides for major sports such as baseball, American football, and golf. Antiques magazines and newspapers sometimes have an article on sports collectibles.”

A bit more clunky, perhaps, but I think if it’s to be called the Encyclopedia of WORLD Sport then it makes sense to internationalize that a bit – but let me know if you disagree. It would be an easy thing to insert the “In this encyclopedia . . .” language, using autotext.

On a related note, we have to abandon our metric-only policy since there are so many sports that deal only in English measurement, and therefore having a million metric conversions would be A) bulky, B) distracting, and C) time-consuming. So we’re pretty much letting them stand as-is.

Thanks,

Bill

This is an interesting experience for me to be working on a third edition of an encyclopedia – it’s a good opportunity to address editorial questions like this that may seem obvious in retrospect, but never are when you’re working on a big project of this nature!

Bill Siever

Project Coordinator,

Berkshire Publishing Group

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