The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132499   Message #4052252
Posted By: Mrrzy
13-May-20 - 11:37 AM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
I grew up overseas, mostly in African ex-French colonies, 60's and 70's. The English speakers did not distinguish among the various armed forces. We had Marines guarding the embassy (and partying, shooting pool, going to beaches), but they did not argue terminology when lumped in with other members of other armed forces if we used the term Soldier as a generic. Like I said, the first time I was corrected was in the aughties, in NC.

The French speakers also used "soldat" for any military person. Newspapers did not use "troop" to mean individual member of armed forces. That is newspeak, like the horribly oxymoronic, or just moronic, term Peacekeepers. Requiring a civilian (whether Quaker or other conscientious objector, or just ignorant -or uncaring- of details of uniforms) to know which branch some rando is in before referring to them is just plain silly.

Like I said, English (US, UK or whatever) needs a one-word, simple, generic term for "member of the armed forces" -so does French, and so do all languages whose speakers want to talk about those waging war. So if y'all don't want people to use the word Soldier, please propose something.

Next I'll be hearing that continuing to use Literally to mean Not Figuratively is incorrect. Sorry, but it's not, even though enough people use it to mean Figuratively that it's gotten into the dictionary. It may be common usage, but it is still wrong.

Now my use of Soldier may be common but still wrong, sure. What I ask is, what is right?