Unemployment lingo

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Mar 8 03:36:57 UTC 2009

I don't go back that far, but it squares with my experience. The military
also experienced RIFs in the late-80s and early-90s as the Cold War wound
down. That's where I first heard the term.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Dave Hause
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: Unemployment lingo

FWIW, this may have been originally primarily military:  during  Vietnam, a
fair number of career enlisted men had gone through officer candidate school
because the tradtional West Point and ROTC production wasn't keeping up with
the mortality for second lieutenant platoon leaders;  survivors got promoted
up to about major during the war, but as the force shrunk, many of these
didn't have the education the Army wanted.  The reduction in force then
didn't totally force people out but many reverted to their previous enlisted
grades to remain until they could retire;  I believe the same thing happened
after WWII and Korea.  Locally (Ft. Leonard Wood, MO), I hear people who
have undergone this describe themselves as having been "rifted" rather than
"riffed."  Happens with the civil service work force now, rather than the
Dave Hause, dwhause at jobe.net
Waynesville, MO
----- Original Message -----
From: "Herb Stahlke" <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: Unemployment lingo

I've heard RIF mostly from teachers and local school boards.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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