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Is it British English or just wrong?

Because I have a fetish for has-beens who cash out, a few months ago I was following David Beckham’s first MLS game on ESPN.com.

ESPN.com: David Beckham took finally the field

The phrase “took finally the field” gave me pause: Did ESPN.com make a rare grammatical mistake? Or was it just another lame attempt by an American sports writer to infuse humor into a piece on Beckham by trying to sound British?

About 30 minutes later, I had my answer.

ESPN.com: David Beckham took finally the field

It’s better to be wrong than a hack anyway.

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2 Responses to Is it British English or just wrong?

  1. John Nichols March 20, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    Verb form: Galaxy have vs. Galaxy has. I think US speakers would normally use “has” inidicating that the team is a singular entity, while the UK norm would be “have” indicating that the team is a collection of individuals.

  2. Zach Everson March 21, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Good point John–and the usage can even be quirkier. Most newspapers refer to organizations as a singular entity except on the sports page, where teams are treated as a group.

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