RIP Philo

cricket : baseball translation

cricket : baseball

innings : half-innings
delivery/ball : play
wicketkeeper : catcher
run out : tag out (I think)
bowler, to bowl : pitcher, to pitch
inswinger/outswinger : curveball
slower ball : changeup
dismissed : put out

there you go. my bit for transatlantic understanding. not.
Permalink $-- 
March 30th, 2007 5:37am
Good start. Now translate this.
Permalink Send private email (100 + 85)/2 
March 30th, 2007 6:02am
LOL. I sympathise ... here's the first paragraph ...

"Wicket-keeper O'Brien, axed by Kent in 2006 because they rate Geraint Jones above him, hit a brilliant 72, easily the best effort by any of the batsmen on a green wicket which Ireland's seamer loved. But when he tried to hit off-spinner Shoaib Malik for six with 21 needed and six wickets still in hand, he was stumped."

Catcher O'Brien who was dropped from Kent (county cricket club) in 06 ... blah blah ... made a brilliant 72 runs (points - no equiv in bb I think) when batting in tough conditions (green wicket = the ball tends to bounce up into your chest/face even when it bounces close to you, and sometimes not straight). But he tried hit a home run out of the park with only 21 points needed to win, and 6 batters left, and got put out.
Permalink $-- 
March 30th, 2007 6:13am
I must be mad to even try ...
Permalink $-- 
March 30th, 2007 6:13am
Permalink what are you reading for? 
March 30th, 2007 7:06am
Yeah.  Problem:  Cricket is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike baseball.

They share a superficial similarity -- they both have a ball, a bat, a batter, a pitcher, and a catcher, and outfielders.

After that, forget it.  The bat in Cricket is an oddly shaped, flattened piece of wood.  The batter is not really trying to hit the ball (though he can) he's really trying to protect the wicket, a cool looking arrangement of 5 pieces of wood behind him.  If THAT gets hit by the ball, he's out.

Different clothes, there are no 'bases' really just 2 wickets the batter may (or may not, he doesn't have to) run between.  And Cricket games USED to take all day, though I think they limit that in the modern game.

Really, saying Cricket is like Baseball is like saying American Football is like Soccer.  Superficial similarities that instead of illustrating something instead serve to confuse the issue.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 9:16am
American Football is derived from rugby not soccer, which is also called rugby football to give it its full name. The main difference being rugby is a fluid, flowing game that's interesting to watch, whereas American Football looks like clashing bull elephant seals in the mating season.
Permalink el 
March 30th, 2007 9:44am
the major difference that baseball people have to get is that the ball almost always BOUNCES before it gets to you. That introduces a set of variables that complicate things enormously.

There is some compensation though in that the batsman can (and should) use his feet to move towards/away from the place where the ball pitches. In fact that's one of the major skills in batting well. Only when you get this will commentators talking about "wonderful footwork" make any sense.

You also hear them talking about the "line and length" of a bowler, or bowling "on a length", "a good length" (fnarr fnarr). The bowler tries to put the ball on a spot which is awkward - not far away that the batsman can back away and have an extra split second to judge the bounce, too far away to take a big stride forward and take the bounce out of the equation. A "short of a length ball" the batsman should take a step away from, ("playing on the back foot") and often gets swatted away with a cross bat. An overpitched ball ("full in length") is the opposite.

There are also nasty tricks like "yorkers" (a ball that goes directly at the poor guy's feet, possibly swing in the air as it does so) and "bouncers" (short and fast and headed straight at the throat).
Permalink $-- 
March 30th, 2007 9:54am
The post on language log you linked to is one of Pullum's worst; on a par with his rants about Microsoft.

The report makes perfect sense and is perfectly well-written. I include a copy of part of the email I sent Pullum, which he never bothered to reply to, perhaps not surprisingly considering the Barbara Flesch like threats to curry his poodle.

From: Stephen Jones 
Sent: 19 March 2007 21:48
To: Geoffrey K. Pullum (
Subject: Linguist's childhood trauma causes disastrous error in professional judgement

Or to put in another way -- what you're saying is just not cricket.

It is clear from the Californian-style admittance at the end of the article:
. Even I (who was forced to play cricket and learn some of this gobbledegook as a schoolboy)
that you have suffered severe child abuse, almost as horrific as having being forced to do clause analysis, and that the painful after-effects are still causing immense trauma decades later, but even so to make such an unscientific accusation as to call the cricket's technical vocabulary 'gobbledegook' is still a matter of worry. Does the University of California allow homosexual linguists to vilify the jargon of gynaecology because they were traumatized by too many spreads from Playboy when they were impressionable adolescents?

Every field of endeavour has its own technical vocabulary that is more or less opaque to the layman. Whilst your average American is well and truly stumped by 'googlies, silly mid-off, in the deep, and caught for a duck' the average Brit is equally bemused by 'infielders who throw the ball around the horn, or by aspirin tablets that only an ace can hit up the alley', and why is a 'bodylining' gobbledegook, whilst its baseball equivalent 'a beanball' is pukka AmE?

If you look at the match description you quote the terms are clear and concise: 'caught in the slips for a duck' cannot be described in any less words, and a paraphrase would be longer and less precise. To object to the term 'silly mid-off' as a description of a specific location on the cricket field, is as stupid as objecting to Palo Alto as the name of a specific location in California, and a serious linguist who tries to do this deserves to have a palo altoed right into his mid-off! And sometimes you can even guess the meaning: 'wild slogs caught in the deep' is perfectly deducible from context and the sight of a cricket field.

Worst of all is that it is a linguist who is objecting to cricket using obscure specialized terminology. That is akin to a cannibal serial-killer objecting to keeping dogs in apartments because it's cruelty to animals. Not only does linguistics have as rich and obscure a collection of jargon as any other known field, Scientology included, but goddam linguists can't even agree with what the terms are. The word 'but' at the beginning of a sentence, has three letters and one syllable, but at least four possible terminologies depending on what linguistic sect you belong to. At least in cricket all the commentators can agree that an off-spinner is an off-spinner, and not stop play whilst they argue pointlessly whether it's a conjunction, an adverb, a sentence adverb or a disjunct, whilst the prescriptivists duel in the background with fish knives because civilization depends on whether you straighten your arm to use 'But' or curl it with 'However'.

At present the three hundred million that according to Crystal understand the terminology perfectly are in the doldrums (seeing the World cup is in Bermuda one can only hope only metaphorically) but should their teams' performance improve I will enjoin them all to protest against your lese-majeste and come to bodyline on your lawn and curry your poodles should they be foolish enough to confuse the umpire by running off with the ball in the deep as it was bouncing to the boundary!

Full publication of this counter-rant at the bottom of your article might persuade me to hold off the protest until your next infraction

Best Regards from Saudi (where you can still see more live cricket than in the US)

Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
March 30th, 2007 10:47am
that's quite funny, Steven, but he doesn't really rip into the writer does he? He just observes that it is utter nonsense to people that don't know the game, like Americans. Fair point. What he writes seems quite tongue in cheek ("deliciously baffling passage").

Good luck with the poodle currying though. I can't stand the things, ever since I was traumatised by one that chewed the seam off my balls, so that they never swung again.
Permalink $-- 
March 30th, 2007 5:53pm
He calls it 'gobbleygook' but technical cricket terms are no more gobbleygook than technical computer programming terms.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
March 30th, 2007 8:41pm
There was a seam on your scrotum?
Permalink Je ne comprend pas 
March 30th, 2007 8:50pm

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