Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Racket / Racquet Dichotomy

It used to be we played a sport called 'squash racquets'. Nowadays, you are much more likely to say you play a sport called 'squash,' with the 'racquets' dropped -- as is the case even with the governing body of our sport, which has morphed from the US Squash Racquets Association to US Squash. That's good; it's a modernization that reflects current usage.

But I notice one thing that bugs me, probably because I am an editor and I get paid to be bugged by such things. I still see the word 'racquets' used, although nowadays 'rackets' is much more frequent. Even within the same publication you can still find reference to the game of 'squash racquets' while noting that so-and-so plays with a certain type of 'racket.'

The English language is like a river, ever moving onward. Clearly the old 'racquets' is losing out to 'rackets,' so let's put it out of its misery and drop it completely, right now.


  1. I'm also a writer and I noticed the racket versus racquet issue, but I just can't bring myself to type 'racket' instead of 'racquet'. What I find interesting is that my spellchecker always flags 'racquet' as a typo, but never does that for 'racket.' I guess that tells me something.

  2. I think racquet is slowly dying, and I also think the person who wrote your spellchecker is a bit of a linguistic activist.

    I also note your name and am wondering if you are svensk or perhaps svenskamerikan. Jag talar lite svensk och jag tar en kurs med en handledare.

  3. I agree that is probably is slowly dying, and it may be the case with the person who wrote my spellchecker, but as the writer I do have the option to overrule my editor. :-)

    No, not svensk or svenskamerikan, which I must assume is Swedish aber ich kann gutes Deutsch.

  4. Guys: It's racket! Make a racket if you like, but it's R-A-C-K-E-T! (Apologies for shouting across the Pond).


Sorry, but due to increasing spam, I've added the Word Verification step. My policy on comments is anything goes, as long as it is about squash and as long as it isn't unnecessarily nasty....