[Ads-l] odd use of "civilian" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Tue Nov 3 18:50:55 UTC 2015


> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: odd use of "civilian"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > On Nov 2, 2015, at 6:38 PM, Dave Hause <dwhause at CABLEMO.NET> wrote:
> >=20
> > "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.

I've seen it used to refer to astronauts who weren't part of NASA's astronaut corps, and I've seen it in conjuring journals to refer to someone who isn't a magician (either professional or hobbyist).

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

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