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Left of boom
Posted: 10 November 2007 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Heard a story on NPR about IEDs and they mentioned working “left of boom” (as in prevention) as well as “right of boom” (as in disposal, cleanup, forensic work . . . aftermath).  Interesting that left in this case is better than right, when so many other idioms have it the other way around.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/specials/leftofboom/index.html

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Posted: 10 November 2007 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Makes sense in a world where one reads left to right.

And welcome back Pod.  I was just wondering where you were.

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Posted: 10 November 2007 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Not to mention that on a normal x-y axis graph time goes from past on the left to future on the right.

Another welcome home, Poddie.

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Posted: 10 November 2007 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome from me, too, pod.  Follow the link to the glossary for explanation of that and various military abbreviations, such as WIT (Weapons Intelligence Teams).  Are these used internationally or just in the US?

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Posted: 11 November 2007 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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As a rule, military abbreviations tend to be restricted to national use. A few exceptions are when an abbreviation becomes famous enough that it is borrowed into other languages in the normal fashion. Another route for internationalization is NATO. That organization maintains some abbreviations and jargon terms.

In a recent A Way With Words podcast, Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette discussed the term Blue Bark, used to denote activities relating to a recently deceased service person and their families. Apparently, this one is used both by the US and Canadian military, which is a bit unusual.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Welcome back from me too pod, nice to see you again

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Posted: 12 November 2007 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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At the risk of piling on: I, too, am glad to see that you’re back.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dave Wilton - 11 November 2007 07:35 AM

...Apparently, this one is used both by the US and Canadian military, which is a bit unusual.

Yes, but both share a common ancestry in the British military.  Could “blue bark” possibly be that old?

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Posted: 12 November 2007 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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No, it’s not nearly that old. It can only be traced to c.1970.

And the US military does not share a heritage with the British military. Colonial militias did not develop out of the British military. If anything, US military tradition derives from Prussian and Eastern European drill masters like Von Steuben and Pulaski.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dave Wilton - 12 November 2007 01:51 PM

No, it’s not nearly that old. It can only be traced to c.1970.

And the US military does not share a heritage with the British military. Colonial militias did not develop out of the British military. If anything, US military tradition derives from Prussian and Eastern European drill masters like Von Steuben and Pulaski.

I would have to strongly disagree with that, especially in terms of naval tradition.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The U.S. Navy was established in 1794.  How could it have arisen from the British Navy, or had any continuity with that tradition?

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Posted: 12 November 2007 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The US Navy is generally considered to be derived from the Continental Navy, even if there was a gap between the two.  The Navy’s official Historical Center, for instance, considers 13 October 1775 to be the birth date of the US Navy.  So I wouldn’t pin too much on that 1794 date.

That said, I don’t know of any major connection between the Royal Navy and the Continental Navy, most of personnel of which, to the best of my knowledge, were former merchant sailors.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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And the US military does not share a heritage with the British military. Colonial militias did not develop out of the British military. If anything, US military tradition derives from Prussian and Eastern European drill masters like Von Steuben and Pulaski.

In 1747 “His Majesty’s First Independent Company of American Rangers” was created.  Although it wasn’t an army yet, it was formed in order to serve England and the English were involved in its creation, training and deployments.  About ten years later the English were gratified that these troops were available during the Seven Year War, again serving England by fighting the French for preservation of English territory in North America.

The training from the English Army as well as the help of mercenaries such as Pulaski helped the colonists to win independence from English rule some years later. The mercenaries were invaluable but we had fighting soldiers, trained by England long before the Revolution and the Prussians. We probably couldn’t have won that war without them and they are memorialized by names of cities, city squares and statues in America, but they didn’t train the first American fighting soldiers. The English did. That’s how I like my irony.

Edited because the date the English formed up the American soldiers is 1747, not 1847.

[ Edited: 12 November 2007 06:59 PM by Liza ]
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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The US Navy is generally considered to be derived from the Continental Navy

“Generally considered” does not equate with historical truth.  Wikipedia puts it this way:

The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded shortly thereafter.

Which seems accurate to me: the Navy, quite naturally, “traces its origins” as far back as possible (don’t we all?), but in practical terms the Naval Act of 1794 “established the first naval force, which eventually became the United States Navy.”

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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Which is why the Navy is not the Senior Service in this country.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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In 1847 “His Majesty’s First Independent Company of American Rangers” was created.

I’m assuming that date is a typo, since in 1847 it would be ”Her Majesty’s....” (among other problems).

Note to lh: the supposed connection to the British Military has so far been described in terms of “heritage”, “ancestry”, and “tradition”; IMHO the gap between the Continental Navy and the US Navy would not invalidate these.  You’re taking an unusually technical and legalistic approach to the question.  If, say, John Barry, Stephen Decatur and John Paul Jones had been Royal Navy officers before serving in the Continental Navy, donkeyhotay would have a valid point, the interregnum notwithstanding.  But they hadn’t.

[ Edited: 12 November 2007 07:01 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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