How To Pronounce Derby — A Information For Clueless Individuals
Every time it’s a derby week in Europe, from Manchester to Madrid to Milan, American football fans listen to British commentators and wonder how to pronounce the derby. As one of the few American football sites that actively denies the use of British English, we decided at The18 that it was time to re-explain the basic terms of football in American English.
While most of the differences between UK and US football terms are minimal and meaningless, a vocal group of people gets angry when you use a term that is different from that used in England. If The18 had a penny for every “it’s football, not football” comment we got on Facebook, we would be a Fortune 500 company. So it’s important to defend American English and fight Eurosombs who refuse to recognize the word football was created by the British.
This guide will be aimed primarily at those in the US, but will also be useful for those who believe that the only way to talk about football is with a British accent.
Before we begin, remember that all language is arbitrary. It is necessary to have words with widely accepted definitions – how else would we understand anyone? But the fact that every given set of sounds and letters represents every given meaning is for the most part arbitrary. So, no matter what you say the beautiful game, as long as those you communicate understand what it says. Also, for the record, when we say Americans, we almost always refer to the name for the United States, not to someone from North or South America.
How to pronounce Derby and other things – A guide for American football fans
How to pronounce Derby in USA
Let’s start with the substance of the matter today: how to pronounce the derby. In my experience, this is probably one of the most difficult concepts American football fans need to understand.
The problem comes from the fact that the derby is pronounced differently in the US and the UK, despite the same thing it means. Americans watching European football, which is mostly commented on by the British, are bombarded by speakers who say it in one way, when in fact it is pronounced in another way back home.
Derby means horse racing, a competition open to all participants or a sporting event between two local teams. In British English, the derby is pronounced dar-bee. In American English, derby is pronounced dur-bee.
Unfortunately, most of the time, I hear Americans – including many people in The18 – pronounce the derby as a dar-bee. An American saying “dar-bee” refers to “a gypsum coating consisting of a long narrow strip of wood with two handles”. (There is also a Canadian football club called Darby FC, but the club got its name when Darlington and Whitby Football Clubs merged.)
So the next time you talk about the Manchester Derby with friends, remember to pronounce it like the Kentucky Derby, so as not to slip into an English accent like a weird one.
Football vs. football
Is it football or football? I honestly do not care, and this whole category is about terms that can go.
- Football vs. football
- Fight against game
- Stadium vs. field
- Penalty against PK
- Guest against street
Which is preferable? Everything is fine in our eyes. The words mean the same thing, so we will not waste any more time differentiating between them. And we hope you do not feel resentment when we use them alternatively.
Crowd of team
There is no problem that sticks in my mind, like the British grammar that combines essentially. It’s an issue that has created a whole army of Americans who do not know how to use English properly in the US and it sends shivers down my spine, like those little wooden spoons that come with Blue Bell ice cream of a portion you get at kids’ birthday parties.
I’ve written about this before, so here’s a quick update (read the full explanation here). In British grammar, collective nouns such as “group” or “family” are considered plurals. In American English, these collective nouns are unique. You say “family is going to dine” and not “family is going to dine”.
Although it is a well-understood idea in the US when it comes to football, Americans often completely forget about it. People say “Manchester City plays very well” instead of “Manchester United plays very badly” Most of this is due to British media companies and broadcasters using their British grammar, but it does not help when American companies like NBC , ESPN and Fox continue to multiply a type of grammar that is wrong in this country.
We here at The18 will do our best to always use English correctly in the US when referring to football teams. After all, the USA hosts the best football team of all time and we will always refer to the USWNT as the only unit.
Unfortunately, most football fans will prefer to use English grammar when talking about football. While I have no problem switching my imagination between English and American English, I draw the line in grammar. As someone who has read and re-read the AP Style Book, I know how important it is to have a consistent language for fast, comprehensive readability. So I will continue to complain about British grammar as strongly as those annoying twats that protest every time we use the word football.
Of course, as I said, language is arbitrary. As long as everyone can understand what is being said, it does not matter so much.
But when you want to learn how to pronounce the derby, just remember that we are in America, the home of the Kentucky Dur-bee, not the Kentucky Dar-bee.