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At Leicester City, a Revival Fueled by Sense, Not Sentiment - New York Times

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15 minutes ago, foxile5 said:

I doubt very much a style guide would concern itself with the use of pronouns. At best there will be recommendations for language use, but certainly it wouldn't be as specific as 'use only these pronouns when referencing a football team'. 


Also, I highly doubt the editor of a gigantic paper is passing that close a rule over the 'soccer' pages. You're just explaining it away. 


Regardless, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't object to the Americanisation of Football. Surely you're not blind to the fact that there has Benn a gigantic shift in sports journalism in the very recent past. 


Language is central to our perception of the physical world and its important to mark these things. I don't want Leicester to become an 'it'. That flies directly on the ethos WE have been building. 

I work in the media in Australia and yes, we change copy from our journalists to ensure our domestic readers understand the article. It's also so our copy is consistent and it greatly helps when training new writers to have a house style.


I'm not going to engage with you anymore on this particular point because I fear we will talk across each other. 


There is a game today anyhow! C'mon Leicester.  

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1 minute ago, foxile5 said:



Here's the AP style guide, as mentioned above, have at it. I can't see anything about referring to collective in singular. 


Again. It is worth 

Actually, it depends on the the team's name in US usage. "Dallas Cowboys are" "Dallas is" .... When it comes to Leicester City, it would be "Leicester City is" and "The Foxes are" 


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1 hour ago, foxile5 said:

Not an overreaction. I mentioned that these little Americanisations would creep in this season, owing to this shift to American based journalism, and that it would change our sport for the 



These are the first steps on the road to franchise creation. I love my team. Its an us not an it. That's an important distinction to make. 

Americanisations creeping in to the New York Times is a worry

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Thought the article was nice for some one in my country who doesn't know much about football or Leicester City.

For someone like me it doesn't tell me more then I already know.  

A phrase came to mind as I read it. Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Long may it continue at this club.


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Hard to credit that Rory Smith is getting abuse for employing American usage in an article in an American publication for an American readership. 

As for the creeping 'Americanisation' of football being any kind of threat to the game in this country - well, it's not, and let's face it, never will be.

The game just doesn't really matter to them.

Maybe we should stop being so precious about it...

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I am struck by how some people are upset by the fact that an article written for an American newspaper follows American usage when it comes to the pronouns to refer to sports teams.


The use of "it" rather than "they" to refer to Leicester City reflects the difference between American and British English usage  of nouns that refer to entities that consist of groups of people. Examples of these are "team", "committee" and "government". In American English these nouns are treated as singular and are thus used with singular verbs (e.g. "the team is playing well", "the committee has decided"). This also extends to names of  sports teams unless the name of the team is itself plural, so "Manchester City was the winner of the Premier League" but "the New York Yankees are playing tomorrow". 


In British English nouns like "team" and "committee" are typically used with plural verbs (e.g. "the team are playing well", "the committee have decided"), but do also occur with singular verbs. This perhaps reflects whether the speaker is viewing the thing referred to as a single entity or is thinking about the individual members of the group, so "the government has resigned" (=the whole thing), but "the government have made a lot of mistakes" (=various ministers in the government). 


Bringing it back to names of football clubs/teams, I think most British English speakers would say "Leicester City was founded in 1884, originally as Leicester Fosse" (thinking of the club as a single entity), but "Leicester City were surprise winners of the Premier League in 2016" (thinking of the great players in the team). 


Anyway, I am sure that there was nothing sinister about the journalist's use of pronouns in the article in question. He was simply following American English conventions for an American publication.

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