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dr_dave
06-21-2010, 03:28 PM
There often seems to be debate about usage of the terms "English" vs. "english" vs. "side spin." Which phrase do you prefer?

Thanks,
Dave

Roger Long
06-21-2010, 03:34 PM
I just voted for side spin. It sounds like better English to me. ;)

Roger

ShootingArts
06-21-2010, 04:09 PM
I'm not the best at rules of English but I think "english" lower case is mo'better than "English" upper case because we are referring to spin, a common noun or verb according to usage, not "English" a proper noun. A six foot three inch penguin taught me proper English in the fifth grade, using a ruler and those big hands that were bigger than most paddles I have seen. I've forgotten a lot since then but it doesn't really matter, I don't like either word.

Depending on who I am talking to I either say I'm putting a little high, low, or spin on the ball or I specify where I am hitting it without saying spin or english. It's cumbersome enough to say high right without adding spin or english. Then when you have to define it closer, a tip and a half high, a half tip right, it is even more cumbersome.

We really need to go to the clock system and if we went to the clock system and Joe Villalpando's "gears" to describe how far from center we are hitting the cue ball we would communicate very well. 10-3 or 10 o'clock third gear tells exactly where we are hitting the cue ball. Unfortunately getting everybody on one page with pool terminology isn't going to happen. Tips of english or side is vague at best but it's the most common way of describing it and probably what we are stuck with for many years to come.

Hu

Majic
06-21-2010, 04:27 PM
I'm not the best at rules of English but I think "english" lower case is mo'better than "English" upper case because we are referring to spin, a common noun or verb according to usage, not "English" a proper noun. A six foot three inch penguin taught me proper English in the fifth grade, using a ruler and those big hands that were bigger than most paddles I have seen. I've forgotten a lot since then but it doesn't really matter, I don't like either word.

Depending on who I am talking to I either say I'm putting a little high, low, or spin on the ball or I specify where I am hitting it without saying spin or english. It's cumbersome enough to say high right without adding spin or english. Then when you have to define it closer, a tip and a half high, a half tip right, it is even more cumbersome.

We really need to go to the clock system and if we went to the clock system and Joe Villalpando's "gears" to describe how far from center we are hitting the cue ball we would communicate very well. 10-3 or 10 o'clock third gear tells exactly where we are hitting the cue ball. Unfortunately getting everybody on one page with pool terminology isn't going to happen. Tips of english or side is vague at best but it's the most common way of describing it and probably what we are stuck with for many years to come.

Hu

I don't use the term english either, when talking about cueball hits. I usually talk in terms of left, right, bottom and top. Probably comes from my difficult time during my 5th grade English class as well. :)

cigardave
06-21-2010, 04:40 PM
When I'm discussing a shot with another player I like using the terms, either running english or inside english... or I cued it "outside" or "inside".

terminal_288
06-21-2010, 04:47 PM
In the course of explaining to some one what I was hoping to accomplish, I think i have used all three and many more.

Tramp Steamer
06-21-2010, 04:58 PM
Did I just step through a time portal into last week? Didn't we just go through an unbelieveably agonizing debate on what direction to call the rotation of a cue ball?
Why does it have to be called anything? Why am I siting here alone in this room, asking myself these questions? :smile:

BRKNRUN
06-21-2010, 05:00 PM
PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on Pool Terminology into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and ban people using incorrect terms.

Pool players and advocates for the English vs. Side terminology marched outside the Kolby's Corner Pocket in Phoenix.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill, SE 1070, on Friday.

The move unleashed immediate protests and reignited the divisive battle over English vs. Side reform nationally.

Even before she signed the bill at an afternoon news conference here, President Obama strongly criticized it.

Speaking at a weekly pool tournament for 24 Pool Players in the Rose Garden Pub & Sports Bar, he called for a federal overhaul of terminology laws, which Congressional leaders signaled they were preparing to take up soon, to avoid “irresponsibility by others.”

The Arizona law, he added, threatened “to undermine basic notions of terminology that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between pool players and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us from not being confused.”

The law, which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest terminology measure in generations, would make the failure to use the correct termonolgy a crime and give the moderators broad power to ban anyone suspected of such incorrect usage. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Forum Posters regardless of their APA status.

The political debate leading up to Ms. Brewer’s decision, and Mr. Obama’s criticism of the law — presidents very rarely weigh in on state legislation — underscored the power of the terminology debate in online forums such as AzBilliards. It presaged the polarizing arguments that await the president and Congress as they take up the issue nationally.

Mr. Wilson (Moderator on AzBilliards) said in a statement that he was worried about the rights of its posters and relations with posters on the wrong side of the debate. Jay Helfert of Los Angeles said Mr. Wilsons ability to ban members was like “Nazism.”

As hundreds of demonstrators massed, mostly peacefully in the Ask the Instructor section, the governor, posting from a state building a few miles away, said the law “represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix.”

The law was to take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, meaning by August. Forum post challenges were expected immediately.

ribdoner
06-21-2010, 05:11 PM
high right, high left, low right, low left, right or left, follow or draw


sometimes inside or outside


NEVER right or left (etc) english

MitchAlsup
06-21-2010, 05:42 PM
From the point of view of the person doing the stroking on the CB, CW spin would be a big massé on the right side of the CB...

From the point of view above the table, CW is right spin, CCW is left spin.

So it depends on your point of view.

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 06:11 AM
There often seems to be debate about usage of the terms "English" vs. "english" vs. "side spin." Which phrase do you prefer?Personally, I've always had a hard time with this decision (e.g., for use in my book and videos). My very large Meriam-Webster Third Edition dictionary suggests "English" (capitalized) as the "usual" form; although, this implies that "english" (lower case) is also acceptable. "English" (capitalized) is certainly the most common form used in most books, and this is the form I have always used. However, "english" does seem more grammatically correct, even though most spell-checking software doesn't like it (i.e., it gets flagged as a spelling mistake). I like the use of "side spin" or just "spin" instead (e.g., right spin, top-right spin, topspin, bottom spin, outside spin, running spin, 2 o'clock spin, etc.). I would like to change to this paradigm (e.g., in all future books, articles, videos), but I still like the common usage and heritage of "English."

Regards,
Dave

PS: Remember, don't put too much "American" on the ball (i.e., don't hit it harder than you need to). Also, don't use too much "English."

Beware_of_Dawg
06-22-2010, 06:55 AM
SPinglish / Engrish

I prefer "stuff or smack".

"I smacked 'er on 'er backside and she went a running round the table"

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 07:09 AM
Did I just step through a time portal into last week? Didn't we just go through an unbelieveably agonizing debate on what direction to call the rotation of a cue ball?The recent debate concerned whether or not "English" should refer just to side spin. This thread is exploring a different question; although, it was certainly inspired by the earlier thread.

Regards,
Dave

justadub
06-22-2010, 07:10 AM
My proper grammar is no doubt a bit rusty, but I believe that lower-case english is correct. We speak English, a noun, yet we apply english, an action or verb.

Or in my case, we overcut and drive the ball into the rail. :p

(Re-reading this, I am convinced that I am the last person who should be commenting on grammar. :o)

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 07:18 AM
My proper grammar is no doubt a bit rusty, but I believe that lower-case english is correct. We speak English, a noun, yet we apply english, an action or verb. ... but the Meriam-Webster Third Edition dictionary suggests "English" (capitalized) as the "usual" form. This implies that "english" (lower case) might also be acceptable, but it is flagged as a spelling mistake in most software (e.g., Microsoft Word).

When in doubt, I stick with Meriam-Webster and common usage (i.e., what is usually found in printed publications), so I will continue to use "English," even though it goes slightly against my sense for grammar.

Regards,
Dave

jridpath
06-22-2010, 07:24 AM
PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on Pool Terminology into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and ban people using incorrect terms.


:rotflmao1::rotflmao1::rotflmao1::rotflmao1:

Dead Crab
06-22-2010, 08:09 AM
There often seems to be debate about usage of the terms "English" vs. "english" vs. "side spin." Which phrase do you prefer?

Thanks,
Dave

I recall that when the French had the foresight to not believe in "weapons of mass destruction," there was a great deal of public sentiment to remove the name of their country from our lexicon (e.g. banning of the term french fries), and it was fashionable to be anti-franco..

Perhaps, in the spirit of equal treatment for all, and in light of the present situation in the Gulf of Mexico, the term "English" should be excluded from the pool vernacular, and reserved for situations when someone really f**ks up. For example a miscue could bring the response "Nice English!" or someone who is really a PITA could be described as "that guy is really English".

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 08:20 AM
I recall that when the French had the foresight to not believe in "weapons of mass destruction," there was a great deal of public sentiment to remove the name of their country from our lexicon (e.g. banning of the term french fries), and it was fashionable to be anti-franco..

Perhaps, in the spirit of equal treatment for all, and in light of the present situation in the Gulf of Mexico, the term "English" should be excluded from the pool vernacular, and reserved for situations when someone really f**ks up. For example a miscue could bring the response "Nice English!" or someone who is really a PITA could be described as "that guy is really English".I like the way you think.

Don't use too much "American,"
Dave

tucson9ball
06-22-2010, 08:53 AM
There often seems to be debate about usage of the terms "English" vs. "english" vs. "side spin." Which phrase do you prefer?

Thanks,
Dave


Hmmmm, in the southwest, particularly close to the Mexico border, we refer to it as "spanglish".

ShootingArts
06-22-2010, 09:06 AM
... but the Meriam-Webster Third Edition dictionary suggests "English" (capitalized) as the "usual" form. This implies that "english" (lower case) might also be acceptable, but it is flagged as a spelling mistake in most software (e.g., Microsoft Word).

When in doubt, I stick with Meriam-Webster and common usage (i.e., what is usually found in printed publications), so I will continue to use "English," even though it goes slightly against my sense for grammar.

Regards,
Dave

Dave,

It often does come down to common usage. I use and abuse American English as it is most commonly used most of the time. It's much like some of the words or brand names that are commonly mispronounced, unless I am talking to someone that I know knows how to pronounce it correctly I'll use the common pronunciation rather than the proper one. "Moochie" cues are an exception. I owned one back in the early eighties and pronounce it Moochie to other owners just to needle them! :D :D :D

When I wrote or edited technical documents going to people like the US Army, the NRC, or NASA my spelling and grammar were a little better. ;)

Hu

Cameron Smith
06-22-2010, 09:21 AM
I prefer just using left and right side spin, says exactly what you want to say, no confusion.

Especially when teaching newbies, running english can be a bit confusing.

Bob Jewett
06-22-2010, 09:56 AM
... Especially when teaching newbies, running english can be a bit confusing.
Yes, but they also need to know what other people may call it, even if you don't like to call it that way. The way I usually handle it is to say something like "On this shot you need running english, which in this case is left side spin."

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 11:12 AM
Yes, but they also need to know what other people may call it, even if you don't like to call it that way. The way I usually handle it is to say something like "On this shot you need running english, which in this case is left side spin."Don't you hate it when "english" is flagged as a spelling error by most software?

Regards,
Dave

PS: Don't forget to tell your students and readers to also not put too much "American" on the ball.

Blackball75
06-22-2010, 11:16 AM
I was raised with side, topspin, and screw-back. Plus stun and drag shots.

I like left-hand side, right-hand side, running side, and check side.

Roger Long
06-22-2010, 11:49 AM
Yes, but they also need to know what other people may call it, even if you don't like to call it that way. The way I usually handle it is to say something like "On this shot you need running english, which in this case is left side spin."

I've learned so much from reading your articles over the years Bob that I can't remember if this is another thing I've picked up from you. What you just said here is exactly the way I teach it to my students (and for the same reason). There is even one shot where I tell the student, "You can call this either running English or inside English, your choice, as long as you understand that the shot calls for high side spin in the direction you want the cue ball to travel around the table."

Ultimately, the important thing is that the correct information gets communicated, whether it be by one way, or another.

Roger

JoeyA
06-22-2010, 03:38 PM
Don't you hate it when "english" is flagged as a spelling error by most software?

Regards,
Dave

PS: Don't forget to tell your students and readers to also not put too much "American" on the ball.

Just add "english" to your software dictionary and add Ignore Rule for the grammar error it pops up and from then on you shouldn't have to put up with your software correcting you.

peteypooldude
06-22-2010, 03:52 PM
Dr Dave
I think I have discovered one of your pet peas LOL :smile::smile:

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 03:57 PM
Don't you hate it when "english" is flagged as a spelling error by most software?

Regards,
Dave

PS: Don't forget to tell your students and readers to also not put too much "American" on the ball.Just add "english" to your software dictionary and add Ignore Rule for the grammar error it pops up and from then on you shouldn't have to put up with your software correcting you.Actually, I kind of like the red squiggly that appears under "english" in my software. I was sort of making a point that the software doesn't like it for a reason. Meriam-Webster (the bible of the American English language) does recommend "English" when referring to side spin, and that's what I plan to continue to use (right English, left English, running English, natural English, reverse English, outside English, inside English, top-right English, etc.). In other words, I think the software is right (correct), so I don't want to change it. Although, I must admit that "english" (there's that red squiggly again) seems to make more sense grammatically; however, the English language doesn't always follow (not topspin) logical rules (... and some people think pool rules are difficult to follow).

Regards,
Dave (the guy who doesn't like it when people use too much English or too much American).

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 04:01 PM
Dr Dave
I think I have discovered one of your pet peas LOL :smile::smile:Actually, Tom Ross and I had a huge debate about this (English vs. english) during our VEPS project. Because I was doing the video editing, I had the final say ... but Tom didn't like it very much. He has lots of pet peeves about grammar. He used lots of sailor English when he saw all of the English on the screen (just kidding).

Uuuhhhmmm ... peas!!!!

Regards,
Dave

Cuebuddy
06-22-2010, 04:12 PM
Actually, Tom Ross and I had a huge debate about this (English vs. english) during our VEPS project. Because I was doing the video editing, I had the final say ... but Tom didn't like it very much. He has lots of pet peeves about grammar. He used lots of sailor English when he saw all of the English on the screen (just kidding).

Uuuhhhmmm ... peas!!!!

Regards,
Dave

Just so you dr_dave there is such a thing:smile:.

dr_dave
06-22-2010, 04:20 PM
Just so you dr_dave there is such a thing:smile:.That pea in front looks like it is into S&M. :eek:

dr_dave
06-23-2010, 01:31 PM
There often seems to be debate about usage of the terms "English" vs. "english" vs. "side spin." Which phrase do you prefer?It looks like "English" has gained a little in the poll, but "english" still got many more votes. Honestly, that surprises me since "English" has been the accepted standard for so long, and it is what is recommended by Meriam-Webster.

... but life is full of surprises.

Regards,
Dave

Tom Ross
06-23-2010, 04:14 PM
Whenever the language offers a distinction we should consider it carefully and then work to preserve it in those cases where the word itself provides clarification. Imagine a tournament story about Allison Fisher and her compatriots where they are referred to collectively as English. Then, if in the description of a certain shot, we read that it was played with maximum english, no confusion at all. I suspect that it turns up in print with an upper-case "E" so often merely because spell checkers change it automatically and apparently some editors believe that Bill Gates is also an English grammar expert.

There are many cases of proper nouns becoming common nouns. I would gladly drink scotch from china but probably wouldn't hurry to drink scotch from China.

Or as an alternative I might find a properly situated bar in Brooklyn from where I could gaze at the Manhattan skyline while sipping manhattans.

I would never write body English unless the person were using sign language.

Roger Long
06-23-2010, 04:29 PM
Right arm, Tom! Welcome to the boreds!

Roger

Roger Long
06-23-2010, 04:33 PM
Right arm, Tom! Welcome to the boreds!

Roger

Oops, I meant to say over-boreds. :withstupid:

Roger

dr_dave
06-23-2010, 04:58 PM
Whenever the language offers a distinction we should consider it carefully and then work to preserve it in those cases where the word itself provides clarification. Imagine a tournament story about Allison Fisher and her compatriots where they are referred to collectively as English. Then, if in the description of a certain shot, we read that it was played with maximum english, no confusion at all. I suspect that it turns up in print with an upper-case "E" so often merely because spell checkers change it automatically and apparently some editors believe that Bill Gates is also an English grammar expert.

There are many cases of proper nouns becoming common nouns. I would gladly drink scotch from china but probably wouldn't hurry to drink scotch from China.

Or as an alternative I might find a properly situated bar in Brooklyn from where I could gaze at the Manhattan skyline while sipping manhattans.

I would never write body English unless the person were using sign language.How dare you show up here to fight our little "battle?" :eek:

Just kidding. I'm glad you decided to share your eloquent opinion. :thumbup:

However, I should warn you that AZB isn't always a friendly place; although, it usually is. The one undeniable truth is that it is amazingly easy to spend far too much time here.

I will probably continue to not use too much English or too much American (I guess that should be "american"); although, I think I'm close to being convinced that maybe "english" isn't so bad, even though Meriam-Websters and all of my software checkers don't like it.

I wonder if Bill Gates likes drinking Scotch from China? :confused:

Regards,
Dave

Tom Ross
06-24-2010, 02:06 AM
How dare you show up here to fight our little "battle?" :eek:

Just kidding. I'm glad you decided to share your eloquent opinion. :thumbup:

However, I should warn you that AZB isn't always a friendly place; although, it usually is. The one undeniable truth is that it is amazingly easy to spend far too much time here.

I will probably continue to not use too much English or too much American (I guess that should be "american"); although, I think I'm close to being convinced that maybe "english" isn't so bad, even though Meriam-Websters and all of my software checkers don't like it.

I wonder if Bill Gates likes drinking Scotch from China? :confused:

Regards,
Dave

That's one thing that Mr. Gates will never have to do.

RunoutKing
06-24-2010, 02:30 AM
I like to keep it simple. Anytime I hit the cue ball anywhere other than center ball, I call it English. "E" or "e" doesn't really matter to me, I just call it english.

pt109
06-24-2010, 08:02 AM
Tom Ross makes a compelling case for lower case 'english'.
And i don't expect main stream dictionaries to recognize all jargon.
In general billiard discussions i prefer the term 'english'-it's poetic.

But i'm surprised that Hu's mention of the clock system didn't get more
response.It's much more precise and has served carom players and fighter
pilots well.Telling someone to hit the cueball at 4:30 is much better than
saying 'low right'.

However,specifying how FAR from center is destined to remain vague.
I use terms like 'hair off center','half tip' or 'go to the miscue zone'.
As you move from center ball ,a different part of the tip becomes the
contact point.The diameter and the shape of the tip become factors.
Also the flexibilty of the shaft and the player's stroke can determine
how much spin you get.
When i hit 6:00,whitey comes back but not as far as when Nevel hits it.

9bizzle
06-24-2010, 10:49 PM
My proper grammar is no doubt a bit rusty, but I believe that lower-case english is correct. We speak English, a noun, yet we apply english, an action or verb.

Or in my case, we overcut and drive the ball into the rail. :p

(Re-reading this, I am convinced that I am the last person who should be commenting on grammar. :o)

I agree with the upper/lower case distinction between our use of the word, but I don't believe english used on a cue ball is a verb. You apply english to a ball...you don't english a ball.

9bizzle
06-24-2010, 11:07 PM
Justadub, I'm not trying to be an a-hole, I'm just trying to keep the integrity of the word and its uses for the sake of this whole debate. The English that we speak is a noun and can also be used as an adjective, and the English that we use on a cue ball is a noun.

dr_dave
06-25-2010, 11:20 AM
Tom Ross makes a compelling case for lower case 'english'.I think I'm almost convinced to use "english" instead of "English" when referring to side spin. Although, this is still difficult for me to do, because it goes against the precedent (and cultural history) set by so many instructional authors before me.

Regards,
Dave

LAMas
06-25-2010, 11:30 AM
Just use the "Caps Lock" key and no problem...unless you're shouting.:wink:

Roger Long
06-25-2010, 11:41 AM
I think I'm almost convinced to use "english" instead of "English" when referring to side spin. Although, this is still difficult for me to do, because it goes against the precedent (and cultural history) set by so many instructional authors before me.

Regards,
Dave

I agree, Dave. I still call bone heads, Bone Heads. I think they've earned that respect.

Roger

pt109
06-25-2010, 01:59 PM
I think I'm almost convinced to use "english" instead of "English" when referring to side spin. Although, this is still difficult for me to do, because it goes against the precedent (and cultural history) set by so many instructional authors before me.

Regards,
Dave

Ah,you can now be buffaloed in Buffalo...
..and you can hollywood it up in Hollywood:)

dr_dave
06-25-2010, 02:21 PM
Ah,you can now be buffaloed in Buffalo...
..and you can hollywood it up in Hollywood:)After this thread, I feel the need to drink lots of Scotch whiskey (AKA "Scotch," AKA "scotch whiskey", AKA "scotch").

Regards,
Dave

SpiderWebComm
06-25-2010, 06:43 PM
I can't believe 40% of the people who responded said "side spin."


Left/right of center is english. It's been that way forever.

VERY weird.

dr_dave
06-25-2010, 06:54 PM
I agree (except for the "english part).

I find it even harder to believe that "English" was by far the least popular choice, given that this has been the standard term (and spelling) for so long, and is identified by Meriam-Webster as correct (to label side spin).

Go figure. :confused:

Regards,
Dave
I can't believe 40% of the people who responded said "side spin."


Left/right of center is english. It's been that way forever.

VERY weird.

JoeW
06-25-2010, 07:29 PM
In general the words I use depends to some extent on, "Is this the person to whom I am speaking?" (remember her). If the person has a limited exposure to playing pool I use the term left or right side spin. If they have been around the table and seem to know the lingo then I use "english."

I think the use of the term english is correct it just may not be appreciated by some people and french fries cannot be better described regardless of what is PC.

My first wife told me on more than one occassion it is a "scots lass" and a "glass of scotch" except in Scotland where you simply ask for whiskey.

BRKNRUN
06-25-2010, 10:20 PM
How bout this little hook in your debate.....How many "sides" does a cue ball have??????????


Since "english" is what I would term as "slang" for spin..........perhaps the most correct terms to use would be

Left Spin - Right Spin - Top Spin - Back Spin.

Yes..."Draw" is also a slang term. :wink::wink:

Jal
06-26-2010, 01:07 AM
It looks like "English" has gained a little in the poll, but "english" still got many more votes. Honestly, that surprises me since "English" has been the accepted standard for so long, and it is what is recommended by Meriam-Webster.

... but life is full of surprises.

Regards,
DaveDr. Dave,

In The American Heritage Dictionary (hard copy, 8'th printing), one of the definitions of "English" when used as a noun is:

7. Often small e. The spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist.

They also include a definition as a transitive verb (Englished, -lishing, -lishes):

3. Often small e. To cause (a ball) to spin, as in billiards or bowling.

Maybe one way to decide whether to honor tradition or not, is to weigh the pros and cons. While there isn't a heck of a lot going for either one, "english" may have a slight edge.

What are the advantages of retaining "English"? Does it make the written language more appealing or readable? Does it give the word a more distinctive meaning? Does it conjure up warm associations with ancient traditions and ceremonies?

What about "english"? As has been mentioned, this at least is more in accord with its usage as a common noun. In addition, it's the only one listed in the aforementioned dictionary that is acknowledged as sometimes beginning with a small e. Every other definition begins with a capital; thus, it has a unique meaning. Finally, it's easier to type and saves wear and tear on the shift key (as well as helping to keep one's fingers away from that damnable Caps Lock!)

Jim

Williebetmore
06-26-2010, 07:19 AM
... but the Meriam-Webster Third Edition dictionary suggests "English" (capitalized) as the "usual" form. This implies that "english" (lower case) might also be acceptable, but it is flagged as a spelling mistake in most software (e.g., Microsoft Word).

When in doubt, I stick with Meriam-Webster and common usage (i.e., what is usually found in printed publications), so I will continue to use "English," even though it goes slightly against my sense for grammar.

Regards,
Dave

Dr. D,
In Mark Wilson's soon to be completed book; he will be using "English." You will not be alone.

pt109
06-26-2010, 08:34 AM
I've just consulted with the British
and feel obliged to report ,with some anguish
When you hit 'whitey' with spin
you may knock 'em all in
but it's english you're using,not English

dr_dave
06-27-2010, 04:16 PM
Jim,

Thank you for your thoughts and the quote from your dictionary (although, I still like Meriam-Webster better).

If "English" weren't so ingrained in billiards publications and history, I would completely agree with you. I would like to not use "English" or "english" at all in any of my writings; but I guess I've used "English" too long, and I guess I don't like change. But if I were starting all over again, I would just use "right spin," "outside spin," "running spin," "top-right spin," etc.

I also wish people would use percentage instead of "tips" when referring to the amount of tip offset (e.g., 50% tip-right spin). For more info and illustrations, see my January '08 (http://billiards.colostate.edu/bd_articles/2008/jan08.pdf) and July '06 (http://billiards.colostate.edu/bd_articles/2006/july06.pdf) BD articles. "Tips" is very problematic.

Regards,
Dave

Dr. Dave,

In The American Heritage Dictionary (hard copy, 8'th printing), one of the definitions of "English" when used as a noun is:

7. Often small e. The spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist.

They also include a definition as a transitive verb (Englished, -lishing, -lishes):

3. Often small e. To cause (a ball) to spin, as in billiards or bowling.

Maybe one way to decide whether to honor tradition or not, is to weigh the pros and cons. While there isn't a heck of a lot going for either one, "english" may have a slight edge.

What are the advantages of retaining "English"? Does it make the written language more appealing or readable? Does it give the word a more distinctive meaning? Does it conjure up warm associations with ancient traditions and ceremonies?

What about "english"? As has been mentioned, this at least is more in accord with its usage as a common noun. In addition, it's the only one listed in the aforementioned dictionary that is acknowledged as sometimes beginning with a small e. Every other definition begins with a capital; thus, it has a unique meaning. Finally, it's easier to type and saves wear and tear on the shift key (as well as helping to keep one's fingers away from that damnable Caps Lock!)

Jim