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demob
Posted: 11 June 2012 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In another Wordorigins.org forum, aldiboronti used the term “demob” in:

... Settled on father’s demob in Portsmouth....

I take this to mean “demobilization.” It’s the first I recall hearing it.

I was wondering if it was chiefly British, or if I have missed it all these years?

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Posted: 11 June 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I can’t recall ever hearing it from an American, unless you count ‘The Waste Land’, but Eliot puts it in the mouth of a British speaker.

The OED doesn’t say it’s mostly British – other dictionaries do – but the examples it gives are all from this side of the pond, apart from a reference to an American slang dictionary.

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Posted: 11 June 2012 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s in HDAS. The first “American” citation in that dictionary is Eliot’s, so I guess Jon Lighter counts T.S. among the Yanks. The American cites in that dictionary go all the way to 1968. But I’ve never heard it in the wild here.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I haven’t either; I think of it as UK.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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What word do you across the Pond use instead?

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Posted: 12 June 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 12 June 2012 08:11 AM

What word do you across the Pond use instead?

“discharge” “separation”

As in: “After my father was discharged from the Army, ...”

or,

“After separation from the Army, my father moved our family ...”

“After separation from active duty, my father moved our family ...”

.

I think it may sometimes be implied only: “After the Army, my father...”

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Posted: 12 June 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I seem to recall at the end of WWII persons spoke of being “mustered out”. Don’t recall hearing that in decades. The top few Google news stories using “mustered out” seem to be accounts of something historical rather than recent.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’ve heard “mustered out” in the past.

I can’t recall having heard it recently (i.e., in the last ten years or so.)

I speculate that this phrase is more common among those with military experience and used when speaking together, such as in clubs or ex-military forums.

Of course, this is anecdotal speculation on my part, a WAG.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I may be missing the point, here, but Americans do (at least, occassionally) use the word “demobilization”.  We don’t (afaik) use “demob” as a clipping of demobilization.  And I think we use “demobilization” in a somewhat different context than it seems to be being used in the example in the OP.

My (purely anecdotal) sense is that demobilization is not used (in the US) to refer to a single soldier being discharged from active service, but, rather, to a more general withdrawal of troops from an area (or to a significant reduction in the number of servicemen and women in the armed forces).

So I agree with sobiest (I think) that the closest equivalence to “demob”, as used in the OP, would be “discharge”.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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ETS, or estimated time of separation, is commonly used nowadays in the U. S. Army. It can be used as a verb, as in, “I ETS on 1 July.”

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Posted: 12 June 2012 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Is ETS ever used in the past tense to reference the date that one left service? (I.e., “I ETS’d last year.")?  I realize that it wouldn’t really make any sense to use it in the past tense, since the time of separation is not an estimate after it happens, but acronyms (and initialisms) often take on lives of their own and are used in seemingly illogical fashions.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I may be missing the point, here, but Americans do (at least, occassionally) use the word “demobilization”.  We don’t (afaik) use “demob” as a clipping of demobilization.

The post is about “demob,” not “demobilization.”

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Posted: 12 June 2012 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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The post began life as a post about “demob”, but Syntinen Laulu posed the question of what word do the Americans use instead of demob. The seemingly obviously answer would be that Americans use demobilization instead of demob.  But that would be incorrect, or at least misleading, since Americans don’t (afaik) use demobilization to mean the same thing that a rightpondian would mean by “demob”.

Also, i don’t think it is too much of a detour from the topic of “do Americans use ‘demob’” to note that we not only don’t use that clipping, but also don’t use the long-form of the word to mean the same thing that “demob” seems to mean.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Yes, I’ve heard constructions like, “I ETS’d last year.” It’s become a full-fledged verb.

There’s also DEROS, or Date Estimated Return from Over-Seas, which is used in the same way. DEROS is slightly different in that it doesn’t necessarily entail leaving the service, just returning to the land of the big PX.

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Posted: 12 June 2012 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’ve read Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” many times. So, I’ve seen “demob” at least conceptually as a root in print, though I can never recall actually having heard “demob.”

The word used in Eliot’s published version of the poem is “demobbed” which may have assisted my failure in recalling hearing/seeing “demob” itself in actual use:

<snip>
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said -
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
<snip>

I thought that maybe if I’d been more sure of the pronunciation of “demob,” I might have better remembered encountering it--even if only as a root of “demobbed” from the poem.

So, I wondered about generally accepted pronunciation of “demob.”

Is the pronunciation “di-ˈmōb” or “dē-ˈmōb”

Or is it “‘di-mōb” or “‘dē-mōb”

And, I wondered, what of the second syllable? Is it ever usually “mäb” as in “The Mob” of the stereotypical organized crime sense?

My personal preference is: “‘dē-mōb”

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Posted: 12 June 2012 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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My father always pronounced it dee-mob, with equal stress on both syllables and the last rhyming with cob and rob. I too pronounce it thus and don’t recall hearing it any other way.

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