Ping Pong or Table Tennis in Chicago: So How Is it Called?

09.08.2016

OK, time to weigh in on an issue. This issue, perhaps one of the defining issues of our modern epoch, revolves around what to call the game one would play with paddles, balls, a table, and a net. And what is AceBounce - is it a place where you can play table tennis in Chicago or is it a Chicago ping pong venue?

The good people of Chicago have been knocking on AceBounce’s door, picking up the phones and dialing, sending notes by carrier pigeon, and communicating by many other means to ask this question. Seriously, Chicago’s populace hasn’t been this flummoxed since they tried to find the gold buried underneath the Gold Coast (hint: there’s none).

Turns out, AceBounce is uniquely qualified to answer this one. See, the original Bounce, the UK version of AceBounce, in London was founded on the *exact* spot that the game of ping pong was patented. That’s right, ping pong was invented in England. Let’s back up a bit for some context.

Of course there was a game involving paddles and balls, a table, and some sort of net to divide the table long before there was ever ping pong. But ping pong was a name coined to describe this game.

There were earnest attempts to make other names catch on, like whiff-whaff. Yeah, that one wasn’t really doing it. So the legendary games makers at Jacques of London decided to regroup and come up with the name that closely resembled the sound that the balls and paddles make during gameplay. That onomatopoeia-inspired moment is when the name ping pong emerged.

Then what’s table tennis? It’s a generic version of ping pong. Simple as that, really. Maybe a helpful example is in order. Think about Kleenex™ and facial tissues. Or Q-Tips™ and cotton swabs. These iconic brand names have come to stand in for the generic term.

Next time someone goes out of their way to refer to the game of table tennis, don’t look upon them with confusion or scorn. Pat them on the back for their conscientiousness! They’ve just done the mental gymnastics to realize that table tennis and ping pong are nearly the same thing, yet they’re different. Tough to hold those two ideas in mind at the same time. But it can be done.

Table Tennis Chicago - AceBounce

Here’s the thing: the more you play the game, the less important this all becomes. Head over to AceBounce to play a few games and move past all the confusion, Chicago. The table’s set for you.  

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