19 JANUARY 2002, Page 27

Dot Wordworth

From Mr James Young Sir: Dot Wordsworth (Mind your language, 12 January) correctly prefers 'billiard ball' to 'billiards ball', and is supported by the Mikado (who prescribed 'elliptical billiard balls' for hustlers). But the choice is surely a matter of euphony — 'billiards ball' is a bit of a tonguetwister — rather than a rule of grammar. Indeed, in other sporting contexts we say 'athletics event', 'rounders game', 'fives court', 'rackets ball' and 'tiddlywinks counter'.

James Young

London NI