"My children are in the service"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Aug 12 15:03:09 UTC 2001

No, it certainly meant "in the military" when I was growing up (and I
still hear it from olld-timers like myself) - EA, 61, Floyd County,.
IN, WC (now whatever class LIng Profs are), M.


>Does anyone know the meaning of the phrase "in the service" as used by
>I have occasionally heard it in the expression "my child is in the service"
>or "my children are in the service".
>I asked several African-American co-workers and they were baffled.  Some
>thought it meant "in the military" (but wouldn't a proud parent specify Army,
>Navy, etc.?).  One suggested it meant in Christian ministry ("in the service
>of the Lord").
>       - Jim Landau
>"English is the result of the efforts of Norman men-at-arms to make dates
>with Saxon barmaids, and no more legitimate than any of the other results."
>   - H. Beam Piper

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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