[Ads-l] troops

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 18 11:39:31 EDT 2016


The single-soldier sense, first attested in ref. to WWII, was slated to
appear in HDAS as "slang."

It became common during the Vietnam War.


JL

On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 10:52 AM, Dave Wilton <dave at wilton.net> wrote:

> "Troops" (with an s) is not ambiguous. It almost always refers to a number
> of soldiers. The one exception is when referring to the US Army cavalry,
> where "troop" is the term used to refer to a specific unit (a "company" in
> other branches of the service). So "three cavalry troops" could refer to
> three soldiers or three companies of cavalry. I'm not aware of any other
> armies that use "troop" as the name for a subunit.
>
> "Troop" (without an s) may be ambiguous if the context does not make it
> clear. It can refer to one soldier or a group of soldiers. Because it can
> be ambiguous some consider the use of "troop" to refer to a single soldier
> as a misuse. Most of the controversy, including the bulk of the linked
> Visual Thesaurus article, is about whether or not the single-soldier sense
> is an error.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Christopher Philippo
> Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2016 9:22 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] troops
>
> That “troops” may be used for both a number of people or a number of
> military subunits, and that both uses may be correct creates ambiguity - as
> stated repeatedly in the link I had shared in connection with my referring
> to the ambiguity, e.g.:
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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