What is a battle royal?

The reference from page 1A last week might have puzzled some readers.

grammar-battleroyal

Is it “battle royale” or “battle royal”? A “battle royal” is an all-out fight to the finish. The most famous reference to a “battle royal” is in Ralph Ellison’s powerful novel “Invisible Man,” one of the 100 best novels.

“Battle royale” is in literature, too. It’s the title of a novel by Japanese writer Koushun Takami about young people in a police state who must fight to the finish.

I think battle royal is what we needed here.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.