[Ads-l] troops

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 18 12:53:21 EDT 2016


Most early HDAS exx.of single-soldier "troop" are, as Wilson suggests,
mainly in direct address from a superior to one of lowly rank.


JL

On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 12:44 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> See also Neal Whitman's "A Troop of One" (which references an old ADS-L
> thread on the topic).
>
> http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/a-troop-of-one/
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > 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
>



-- 
"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