Author Topic: TOURNEY in yesterday's ROUTINELY Challenge game  (Read 608 times)


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Re: TOURNEY in yesterday's ROUTINELY Challenge game
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2020, 05:23:18 AM »
It occurred to me to actually look up and categorize the examples on COCA (the Corpus of Contemporary American English) and BNC (the British National Corpus). The nine examples cited on BNC were as follows: traditional medieval - four, field hockey - two, rugby - two, chess - one. Since there were six hundred forty-four instances cited on COCA, I felt that was too many to go through all of them, even for me. But here is a representative sample of the types of contemporary usage in the United States: basketball, poker, soccer, traditional medieval, video games, boxing, ice hockey, volleyball, skiing, flip cup (American drinking game).

One can see that some team sports are included, but it appears that in nearly all cases, tourney refers to a multi-round competition where winners advance to the next round.
Inside the Beltway, Washington, DC metropolitan area


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Re: TOURNEY in yesterday's ROUTINELY Challenge game
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2020, 06:08:03 AM »
I am surprised that so many Chihuahuans aren't familiar with this word.  I hear the word occasionally in news on sports (which I don't follow much), but I've seen it so often in my reading, mostly in medieval romances/historical fiction.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of the relative vocabularies  of those of us who like genre fiction - romance, mystery, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy - and those who stick to more non-genre writing - literature, biography, history, social issues, politics, technology, etc.

Alan W

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Re: TOURNEY in yesterday's ROUTINELY Challenge game
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2020, 09:31:08 PM »
There is some evidence that tourney is used differently in the US from in the UK, Australia, etc. Some British published dictionaries define the word as relating exclusively to knightly tournaments, but others define it as another word for tournament, in all senses.

In any case, the word is used by newspapers around the English-speaking world for contemporary tournaments, in various sports, in chess, in contract bridge and in computer gaming. In 2011 the Melbourne Age had the headline "Malaysian tourney to test Kookas", the Kookaburras being the Australian men's hockey team. In 2008 the BBC News website headed a story "Nigeria late for Malaysia tourney". A 2017 rugby story in The Irish News, from Northern Ireland, reported:

Just one win in the current Inter-Pro campaign would have secured an automatic place, now relegation to the junior European Conference tourney seems inevitable.

It's certainly true that tourney is used more frequently in US publications than in Britain, especially in news reports. In the News on the Web corpus the word has 1.51 occurrences per million in the US, and 0.23 per million in the UK. But neither of these figures represents extreme rarity. Compare the frequency numbers for panegyric in the same corpus: 0.02 in the US and 0.03 in the U.K.

The word also appears in books, including by British authors. I mentioned in an earlier post its use by Reginald Hill. Wiktionary supplies an example from Jeeves in the Offing, by P.G. Wodehouse:

Kipper stood blinking, as I had sometimes seen him do at the boxing tourneys in which he indulged when in receipt of a shrewd buffet on some tender spot like the tip of the nose.

In fact, Wodehouse used the word in several books.

I'm going to leave tourney as a common word, but switch panegyric to rare.
Alan Walker
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