[Ads-l] odd use of "civilian"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 2 23:47:35 UTC 2015

I've been familiar with this usage ('an outsider, from the perspective of a
group under discussion') for maybe forty years.

HDAS: 1946.


On Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 6:38 PM, Dave Hause <dwhause at cablemo.net> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dave Hause <dwhause at CABLEMO.NET>
> Subject:      Re: odd use of "civilian"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Odd" - sort of, to me, but not new.  My NOAD, 2nd ed., says roughly, 'not
> a
> member of military or police.'  My long term employment history went Army -
> police - Army and I think of civilian as only "not military."  But my usage
> sense for others is, "not one of us" however "us" is defined.
> Dave Hause, dwhause at cablemo.net
> Waynesville, MO
> -----Original Message-----
> From: James A. Landau
> Sent: Monday, November 2, 2015 8:14 AM
> Subject: odd use of "civilian"
> http://theweek.com/articles/572910/life-under-isis-caliphate
> <begin quote>
> Since ISIS poses a mortal threat to journalists — it has killed dozens of
> mostly local reporters, as well as its high-profile Western victims — the
> job of exposing the group's barbarity has fallen to civilians. In April
> 2014, a group of student activists set up Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered
> Silently inside the ISIS capital. Its two dozen or so members post written
> reports and videos — often filmed on mobile phones hidden in the sleeves of
> jackets — documenting daily life under ISIS control.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list