Yesterday, in a post titled Grass = artificial grass , blogger dl004d made an obvsersation about the word usage of “turf” in The Post aritcle, For Schools, Artificial Turf Fields Grow in Popularity:
I know saying artificial turf is a mouthful, but shortening it to just turf conveys the opposite meaning.
Turf means grass. Unfortunately, it also means fake grass.
We need a word that doesn’t convey its exact opposite.
How about we just use fakegrass? It is only two syllables and leaves no doubt about whether the field is organic or not.
The incorrect use of turf has been a problem for as long as I can remember; George Carlin made a mention of it in his first (and only good) book Brain Droppings. That big problem isn’t linguistics though, it is the use of artificial turf in general. I think playing football, a sport created in the Northeast to be played in the fall, on artificial surfaces is athletically dishonest. Grass stains and mud are part of the game — a fun part of it no less.
As noted previously, both my high school and Waters Field (where I enjoyed my glory days of anklebiters football) have been converted to artificial turf. Vienna’s example is just part of a growing trend that will keep a whole generation of athletes from ever staining their pants with grass or playing in mud. Denying children a chance to play in the natural element is selling them short.
WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!
P.S. Once we get the semantics of turf vs. artificial turf decided, maybe we can work on dropping grass from Penn State Center For Turfgrass Science