Mark Worden mworden at WIZZARDS.NET
Fri Mar 21 20:31:26 UTC 2003

It's called milspeak.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: Attritted

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Attritted
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 3:00 PM -0500 3/21/03, sagehen wrote:
> >Speaking of military lingo, I heard for the first time in my life, so far
> >as I can remember, the word "attritted" regarding Iraq's military
> >It seemed obviously a backformation from "attrition," and sure enough,
> >OED gives it as such from M20 /military slang/.  Is it ever used in any
> >other context?  It was a Canadian military historian who uttered it on
> >occasion.
> >A. Murie
> I remember (and have somewhere) a very old clipping on military
> back-formations like "attrit" and maybe "liaise" or "degrade" from
> Safire's "On Language".   Could have been during Gulf War I.
> larry

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