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The meaning and origin of the expression: Word association football

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Word Association Football

Origin

Word association is a psychological technique invented by Jung in which patients are asked for an immediate response to any word fired at them. A word game based on this in which the first player starts with a word and subsequent players have to follow with a related word and so on has been staple fare for families on long car journeys and the like for many years.

Association football is the proper name of soccer (and the origin of the word soccer incidentally).

word association footballIn a use of what computer programmers call recursion, the Monty Python team used the technique to provide an example of itself by merging the two terms. The subsequent inspired comic piece that was performed by John Cleese on the Python album Matching Tie and Handkerchief:

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thinking George the Fifth this phenomenon the other hand we shall not be able satisfact or fiction section of the Watford Public Library againily to understand to attention when I'm talking to you and stop laughing, about human nature, man's psychological make-up some story the wife'll believe and hence the very meaning of life itselfish bastard, I'll kick him in the balls Pond Road.