2019-11-02 20:46:00 UTC
This week's men's tennis tournament in Paris reports the radar
gun reading on serves on a board that is located too high to
be seen on TV, except in (rare) long-distance shots that include
a higher angle than usual.
This week's women's WPI Finals tournament, Shiseido/Shenzhen
has a large board that is very often visible. Above the reading in
kph, it says, "serves speed". That has been bothering me all week.
I don't remembere what label I've seen in other tournaments, but
what seems natural to me is "service speed"; if not that, then "serve
speed" (singular). "Service" and "serve" are used somewhat
interchangeably, but not entirely, and "service" is much less common.
And I think "serves" would be better with and apostrophe, though
I've been overdoing apostrophes lately.
I wonder - if a tournament organizer said "service" and the
executive secretary who wrote the order for the board assumed
that the speaker was emphasizing the plural. Or if they noticed
the different pronunciation at all.
Or does someone think that "serves speed" is fine?