English Language Day 2011 — The Language of Sport

The English Project's annual programme of events celebrating the English Language. In honour of the London Olympics, we chose the Language of Sport as our theme in 2011.

What is English Language Day?

13 October is English Language Day.

The programme started on Saturday 1 October with the launch of our Sports Tweet of the Year competition.  

To mark English Language Day, the English Project coordinated several activities. English Project Trustee, Professor Bill Lucas said: ‘English Language Day is the only time in the calendar when we stop to think about the extraordinary global impact of the English language. And, in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics, this year’s theme of the language of sport provides a wonderful opportunity for the nation to unite in exploring the rich heritage of sporting phrases.’

Stand in any street and you will hear conversations that are full of sporting phrases. We go right ‘down to the wire’ to secure a deal (horse riding). We wonder who is ‘calling the shots’ (billiards). In tricky situations we hope to get ‘off the hook’ (fishing). If we are flagging we hope we will get ‘a second wind (sailing). If things get too much for us we may throw in the towel (boxing) or take time out (a pretty universal idea). English Language Day is an opportunity for you to explore sporting language and idioms.

What are your favourite ones?

If you decide to run your own event, please tell us about it.