May 6th, 2007


Today's Word

secure. Term used to underscore the assertion that the various branches of the services speak a different language as attested to by this anonymous statement which was being passed around the Pentagon in 1993:
One reason the Military Services have trouble coordinating joint operations is that they don't speak the same language. For example: If you tell Navy personnel to "secure a building," they will turn off the lights and lock the doors. The Army will occupy the building so that no one can enter. The Marines will assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat. The Air Force, on the other hand, will take out a three-year lease with an option to purchase.

-- Paul Dickson, War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War