[ 2008-08-19 17:00 ]
Like many other sports, table tennis began as a mild social diversion. Descending along with lawn tennis and badminton, from the ancient medieval game of tennis. It was popular in England in the second half of the nineteenth century under its present name and various trade names such as Gossima and Whiff-Whaff. After the name Ping-Pong (an imitation of the sound made by the ball striking the table and the vellum bats that were used) was introduced by J. Jaques & Son, the game became a fashionable craze.
The game was popular in Central Europe in 1905-10, and even before this is a modified version had been introduced to Japan, where it later spread to China and Korea. After a period when it had dropped out of favor in Europe，the game was revived in England and Wales in the early twenties. By that time 'Ping-Pong' had been registered as a trademark, so the earlier name of table tennis was re-introduced. National associations were formed and standardization of the rules began, both in Europe and the Far East. Then over the next sixty years, table tennis developed into a major worldwide sport, played by perhaps thirty million competitive players and by uncountable millions who play less seriously. However, the game itself has not changed in essence since its earliest days, though it is faster, more subtle and more demanding than it was even only twenty years ago.
（来源：英语麦当劳 实习生吴昭文 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）