4/11/2022 11:26


For most people the word "football" or "futbol" refers to an odd game played with a ball on an open field between teams whose players are tightly restricted as to permitted use of the hands (hence the attributive "foot" in the name of the game).

In the United States however the word refers to an ironic self-parody in which teenaged boys run up and down a zebra-striped meadow wearing funny clothes and carrying a misshapen ball. If may also be used with reference to overpaid adult males pretending they are still teenaged boys on behalf of commercial entities.

I have been told, most recently in an email message this morning, that I "may be the example of difference from the majority in this instance".

That is an interesting hypothesis but it would be difficult to test. One could fairly easily count the number of people in attendance at various stadia within a set region over a defined period of time and it would be plausible (if unproven) to think that each such person would subscribe to a definition of American football somewhat different from mine. That number would surely be a minority of the total population in that set region.

It would not be plausible to assume that the majority who are not in attendance would uniformly accept my description of American football as an ironic self-parody. One would probably need to undertake a survey using a well-stratified random sample -- and that is a task which has become frustratingly difficult in the current environment of spam email and intrusive telephone scams.

Personally I have not the resources nor the skills nor the commitment to pursue a careful, scientifically valid investigation of majority opinion on this definition. Instead I will adopt the common first approximation, believing I am right and the rest of the world is wrong.