Tue Aug 7 02:36:13 UTC 2012

My guess is that "staged" here is a mistake for, or used as a shortened form of, "stage-managed" (AHD:  to direct or manipulate from behind the scenes, as to achieve a desired effect; orchestrate), implying that the correspondents' reports were meant to be seen as independent writings, but were in reality set up to say exactly what MacArthur wanted them to say.  If this is correct, there would be no implication that the Inchon landing was less than bona fide, only that the four correspondents' accounts of it were untrustworthy.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2012 6:05 PM
Subject: Re: "staged"

I raised the issue of the meaning of "staged" last year. Here is another case.

According to The Korean War: An Encyclopedia_ (Garland, 1995, p. 270): "As the war continued to worsen for the U.N. forces the Army desired...to control what was reported. The military staged some stories. At the Inchon landing, MacArthur invited four correspondents as his personal guests...to relay the military's official version of the landing."

What the...?  To me this can *only* mean that the Inchon landing was planned and carried out solely for the benefit of the four correspondents, with the additional likelihood (like the "staged" Moon landing) that what was happening was not entirely real (maybe fake tanks were used) or the whole operation was designed entirely to deceive.

What the writer means to say, however, must be that "The military carefully managed the news it released to the press."

Very different, if you ask me.

So what's the deal with "staged"?


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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