Was just wondering if anyone has observed the UK football commentator use of the present perfect where in grammar and everyday useage past simple is normally used.
For example, instead of hearing in the half-time discussion: "...then Buckham took the ball up the left wing, crossed it over to Shoals who headed it in" we have "...then Buckham's taken the ball up the left wing, he's crossed it over to Shoals who's headed it in"

I'm not sure of any other context where this literary device is used: present perfect to denote a finished event in the past (the textbook context for use of past simple), but perhaps someone can put me right?

Mark Daniels
1 2
I'm not sure it's a literary device so much as an informal way of describing an event. Don't most people say things like "and he says to me, I haven't got any left" etc? Some of the half-time pundits in thse football games aren't trained commentators but footballers and managers who relapse into their usual idioms.

*
The expression I can never reconcile myself to is the use of the verb "sit" in contexts like "he sits just behind the attack". No he doesn't: he runs about behind the attack.
Peasemarch.
The expression I can never reconcile myself to is the use of the verb "sit" in contexts like "he sits just behind the attack". No he doesn't: he runs about behind the attack.

If non-sensical sports descriptions bother you, I suggest you stay away from basketball. You might turn your head in embarrassment on hearing that a player is dribbling down the court and miss the dunk into the water that isn't there. The triangle defense does not protect any geometric shapes, and the triangle-plus-two is not a pentagon. The player in the paint comes out without any noticeable additional coloration. The bench is a row of chairs. The foul line isn't any worse that the three-point arc.
Make a special effort to avoid listening to Vi tale calling any basketball game. That's good advice even if you like basketball.
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Was just wondering if anyone has observed the UK football commentator use of the present perfect where in grammar and ... finished event in the past (the textbook context for use of past simple), but perhaps someone can put me right?

You will note when you look more closely that it isn't the commentators who do this. Commentators are not usually allowed into the half-time discussions anyway. The people who do it are the pundits. And many of them were raised in the school of hard knocks where such verbal style is on regular display.
"He's only gone and blanked the landlord and the landlord's only gone and barred him."
"And then he's told the copper to *** off and the copper's whistled up a van load of his mates and they've given him a right seeing to." For such as El Tel, Sir Bobby and Big Ron this is Queen's (Park Rangers) English. The more literate, like Gaz Lineker, often join in for fun. "And then Greg 's had to resign and they've only asked Mikey Grade to step in and he's gone 'I should cocoa ..."

John Dean
Oxford
I'm not sure it's a literary device so much as an informal way of describing an event. Don't most people ... the half-time pundits in thse football games aren't trained commentators but footballers and managers who relapse into their usual idioms.

Trained commentators? A-ha! So you mean all the Colemans, Motsons, Weekses and Vines were actually taught to inspire Alan Partridge?

Ross Howard
"He's only gone and blanked the landlord and the landlord's only gone and barred him." "And then he's told the ... a right seeing to." For such as El Tel, Sir Bobby and Big Ron this is Queen's (Park Rangers) English.

Which Sir Bobby? Aren't there several?

Ross Howard
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Was just wondering if anyone has observed the UK football commentator use of the present perfect where in grammar and ... in the past (the textbook context for use of past simple), but perhaps someone can put me right? Mark Daniels

Yeah, I've been aware of this for ten years or so. I'm not sure, but I tend to associate it with Londoners - my father in law is a geezer, and he certainly uses it a lot. It tends to go with stories where the sequence of events is particularly significant. You could think of it as the 'narrative present perfect'. Police spokesmen use it a lot:-

'So what's happened here, he's crossed into the centre lane, then he's seen the truck in his rear view mirror, he's pulled over and he's mounted the pavement'.
Whether you like it or not, I don't think this should be considered as ignorant language or misusage; there's clearly something going on here, that makes this choice of tense give the story a dynamic that wouldn't be achieved by telling it in either simple present (joke telling usage) or simple past.
DC
"Mark Daniels"
Was just wondering if anyone has observed the UK football commentator use of the present perfect where in grammar and ... have "...then Buckham's taken the ball up the left wing, he's crossed it over to Shoals who's headed it in"

To this ignorant U.S. nonsportsfan, that looks like a spillover from the use of the past perfect for events that are in the immediate past, are undated, and are news to the listener which would be perfectly natural for a sportscaster describing events on the spot, tho in my small experience U.S. sportscasters usually use the present tense for added vividness.
A probably unrelated puzzle: In the old Scottish & northern English ballads, the simple past and the present perfect seem to be used utterly indifferently in the same narration:
He's taen the sark frae off his back and kicked awa his shoon And thrawn awa the chaumer key, and naked he lay doon.

The switch from "he's taen" to "he lay" is clearly not for the sake of the meter; "he took" & "he's lain" fit just as well. What is the point?

Joe Fineman (Email Removed)
For example, instead of hearing in the half-time discussion: "...then Buckham took the ball up the left wing, crossed it ... finished event in the past (the textbook context for use of past simple), but perhaps someone can put me right?

I'm not sure there's anything unusual about this. We customarily use present perfect to refer to something that someone has done in the past, when they're capable of doing something similar now:

Vic Yngve has written a book on linguistics.
(but not if they can't:
*Einstein has written a paper on relativity. )
- Bill F.
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