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The 5 Different Linguistic Styles of Exciting Goal Calls

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I’ve got a soccer crazy kid, and in these days leading to the start of the World Cup, we’ve been watching a lot of old highlight videos. Hearing hundreds of goals called, one right after the other, by excited announcers from various countries, can really make you notice the international differences in goal announcing style. After a few weeks of passive linguistic analysis of goal after goal, I have come to the conclusion that there are five basic linguistic styles to the goal call.

1. Latin American

Long, loud, and steady of pitch, perhaps the most recognizable goal call is the super-extended vowel version used throughout Latin America. It apparently began in Brazil in the 1940s with radio announcer Rebello Junior, known as “the man of the unmistakable ‘goal.’” One of the best-known practitioners today is Telemundo announcer Andrés Cantor. Here he bellows the unmistakable, Latin American "gooooooooooooal!"

2. Italian

In tone, it is operatic and emotional. Tears may be shed. Linguistically, it is characterized by punctuated repetition. Not so much a long, expansive yell, as a series of staccato cries. This is an excellent example. Tears and all.

3. British

The British style is wordy and poetic, a performed thesaurus of flabbergastedness. Not satisfied to simply invest vowels and syllables with emotional weight, as the Latin Americans and Italians do, the British announcer must explain all the feels he is feeling with words, metaphors, and similes. Here is Ray Hudson in fine form: “Aaaaaaaaaare you kidding me!? Astonishing!! This is not just a dream it’s a wet dream of orgasmic proportions….more curves to it than Jessica Rabbit—on steroids.”

4. Continental European

Other European countries, and as far as I can tell this is true for the Middle East as well, seem to focus more on the name of the goal-scorer in their goal calls. Depending on the phonological characteristics of the name, they will either draw out syllables, Latin American style, or repeat them with a punctuated rhythm, Italian style. Here’s a Dutch announcer on a goal by Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp!

5. Spanish

Spain stands in a unique position in the world of soccer announcing. It shares a language with most of Latin America and certain elements of its goal-announcing style. But it shares other features with its European neighbors. What’s a Spanish announcer to do? Use every single vowel, consonant, and syllable for effect! These examples from calls for Barcelona run the gamut, using vowel extension (gooooooool!), punctuated repetition (gol! gol! gol! gol!), scorer’s name with both techniques (Puyol! Puuuuuuyol! Pu-yol! Pu-yol!), even consonant extension (golllllllllllllllllll!) and a unique move that almost turns into ululation (golololololololololol!).

Any regional style features I’ve missed? What’s your favorite kind of goal call?

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'Froyo,' 'Troll,' and 'Sriracha' Added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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Looking for the right word to describe the time you spend drinking before heading out to a party, or a faster way to say “frozen yogurt?" Merriam-Webster is here to help. The 189-year-old English vocabulary giant has just added 250 new words and definitions to their online dictionary, including pregame and froyo.

New words come and go quickly, and it’s Merriam-Webster’s job to keep tabs on the terms that have staying power. “As always, the expansion of the dictionary mirrors the expansion of the language, and reaches into all the various cubbies and corners of the lexicon,” they wrote in their announcement.

Froyo is just one of the recent additions to come from the culinary world. Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish; choux pastry, a type of dough; and sriracha, a Thai chili sauce that’s been around for decades but has just recently exploded in the U.S., are now all listed on Merriam-Webster's website.

Of course, the internet was once again a major contributor to this most recent batch of words. Some new terms, like ransomware (“malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files”) come from the tech world, while words like troll ("to harass, criticize, or antagonize [someone] especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts”) were born on social media. Then there’s the Internet of Things, a concept that shifts the web off our phones and computers and into our appliances.

Hive mind, dog whistle, and working memory are just a few of the new entries to receive the Merriam-Webster stamp of approval. To learn more about how some words make it into the dictionary while others get left out, check these behind-the-scenes secrets of dictionary editors.

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How New Words Become Mainstream
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If you used the words jeggings, muggle, or binge-watch in a sentence 30 years ago, you would have likely been met with stares of confusion. But today these words are common enough to hold spots in the Oxford English Dictionary. Such lingo is a sign that English, as well as any other modern language, is constantly evolving. But the path a word takes to enter the general lexicon isn’t always a straightforward one.

In the video below, TED-Ed lays out how some new words become part of our everyday speech while others fade into obscurity. Some words used by English speakers are borrowed from other languages, like mosquito (Spanish), avatar (Sanskrit), and prairie (French). Other “new” words are actually old ones that have developed different meanings over time. Nice, for example, used to only mean silly, foolish, or ignorant, and meat was used as blanket term to describe any solid food given to livestock.

The internet alone is responsible for a whole new section of our vocabulary, but even the words most exclusive to the web aren’t always original. For instance, the word meme was first used by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.

To learn more about the true origins of the words we use on a regular basis, check out the full story from TED-Ed below.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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