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Readers Nominate More "Language Behaving Badly"

Last Thursday we published a list of Army-isms I hate, then on Monday we made a list of “Army Words for Regular Things”. Today we want to highlight the best reader suggestions for Army Language Behaving Badly.

Starbuck nails a good one

“Today’s worst offender? The word “Decisive”, and its cousin, “Decisive Action”.

Army PAOs have tried to explain this to me on Twitter, but I still don’t get it.”

And he tells a good story about “Centers of Excellence”

“Oh yeah, my “Center of Excellence” story:

The COG (Commander of Ops Group) of JMRC decided he would refer to JMRC as the UAV Center of Excellence for Europe. Keep in mind that there was nothing that really started to make it a “Center of Excellence”…they only had two O/Cs dedicated to UAVs, and we were just aviators pulling double duty.   

So we started to refer to ourselves as the “Commandant” and the “Minion” (only one minion) of the UAS Center of Excellence. We put it on our PowerPoint slides and everything. I tried to get an OER bullet out of it too, but that never went through.”

MT Bradley on the origin of “Assault Packs”:

“It is off-topic from the real reason for your post, but as a gear geek I wanted to comment on your mention of assault pack. An online acquaintance of mine in the Marine Corps pointed out to me that there is a logic to the naming of a three day assault pack—the longest (planned!) duration of a single airborne operation—but that the form and function of most so-called three day assault packs would not really fulfill that role. I guess a true "assault pack" would be a pack for your second line gear and nothing else, but most packs carrying that name are larger than that.”

Duck calls out a word from all walks of life

“My personal pet peeve, and this goes far beyond the military, is “innovation.” The attempt to not only institutionalize the ineffable, but render an important concept utterly banal, is self-defeating. We seem to have taken two concepts, competence and flexibility, and wrapped them in a buzzword that merely feeds the bad idea fairy.”

Mateo disagrees with “Subject Matter Expert”

“When used as an anaphora (referencing something previously referenced) SME works just fine. And sometimes ‘expert’ alone doesn’t collocate very well. It’s not like there are many generic Galileo, Gaius Baltar-type experts running around out there to come running. You typically want an expert in something specific.”

He also provided an excellent link on the origin of “jargon”

“Jargon is a great way to build a sense of in-group.”

From Facebook:

Jared Stewart: No Later Than -- Before

Chris Capps-Schubert: Kevlar - helmet, IBA- vest, battle rattle- gear

From Twitter:

Dave Opsecname (@ftngleprechaun): "Enduring" for "long-term" or semi-permanent.

João Hwang ‏(@JoaoHwang) had a whole bunch of nominations. Our favorites include:




PT for exercise

One comment

I’m not sure if this fits your definition, but here goes: I’m in AFG, and if I hear “too easy” one more time I’m going to scream. It usually means that my request has a two in five chance of actually happening.