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18 June 2018

CUP launch the Word Cup for charity

What three words would you use to sum up your country’s World Cup squad? Cambridge University Press (CUP) wants to know as it kicks off a global study into the language of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

  • To celebrate this year’s World Cup, CUP’s research department will be conducting a global study that will analyse the language used when discussing each team
  • Football fans around the world can enter the three words they think best describes a team of their choice, on the Cambridge Word Cup website, to help create a 2018 People’s Corpus
  • For every member of the public that participates, CUP will be donating £1 to UK charity, United Through Sport

People are being asked to enter the three words they think best describe each national team on CUP’s website. The Press’s English Language department will then analyse them as part of a study into the language used when writing about the tournament.

The public’s contribution will form a ‘People’s Corpus’, which researchers can then compare to the words used about different teams in the media – the ‘Football Corpus’.

The results of the research, including the top three words for each team, will be revealed ahead of the final match on Sunday 15th July.

In addition, each time three words are added to the website, CUP will be donating £1 to United Through Sport, a charity dedicated to transforming children’s lives through the power of sport.

Laura Grimes, Senior ELT Research Manager at Cambridge University Press, explained why this campaign is so exciting: “We’ll be building on the research that we conducted during the 2014 World Cup, where we collected a whopping eight million words for the Cambridge Football Corpus. It’s going to be really interesting to see how thoughts and views might have changed in the past four years. Will we, for example, still be talking about Argentina’s ‘flair’, the ‘inexperienced’ English squad, or the ‘focussed’ Germans?

“As an organisation, we already collect millions of words each year in our Cambridge English Corpus, which helps us to ensure we are using current and relevant English in all of our work, be that publications or university courses.

“Teaming up with ‘United Through Sport’ is really the icing on the cake; they focus on working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, using the power of sport to improve education, raise awareness and build life skills, so really, they are the perfect partner for this campaign.”

To get involved, simply visit, click on any country and enter the three words you feel best describes this team. Once submitted, you’ll be taken to a page that is updated in real time where you can view the reaction so far.


Public Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 326194



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