[Ads-l] missionary

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 18 10:36:24 EDT 2018

> On Aug 18, 2018, at 10:01 AM, Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Yesterday on MTP Daily, Katy Tur was talking about Eric Prince's proposal
> that the war in Afghanistan be privatized and referred to the military
> contractors as "missionaries,"  The last time I heard that slip was in July
> 1967 at the beginning of the Nigerian Civil War (Biafran War).  I was a
> field linguist in a bible translation program near where one of the first
> battles was fought and was in jail in Makurdi as a suspected mercenary.  An
> army lorry driver came into the police station one evening yelling about
> "American missionaries" fighting for Biafra.  I remember joking with
> classmates at UCLA, including Larry, that they pronounced missionary and
> mercenary the same way, and I was one.
Indeed.  That was the talk of us linguistics grad students back home at UCLA at the time as an object lesson in the hazards of phonological merger.  Glad they let you out, Herb!  


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