[Ads-l] ten-shun; ten-hut

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 15 22:49:41 EST 2021


> He's going up the barracks steps, that guy whose shoulders bear the bright
> gold bars. He's entering the door. Inside some one yells, "Atten-HUT!"

Either the writer doesn't really know or the protocol has changed since
1943. Second
lieutenants randomly entering the barracks, for no particular reason, is a
common occurrence.
The first person aware of the entrance of an officer shouts "At ease!",
which means, "cease talk
or action of any kind." The officer replies with the countermand, "Carry
on!", meaning, "go back
to whatever you were doing."

The pronunciation, "tench-HUT" is also used.

On Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 11:53 AM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 10:20 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > 1943 _News-Chronicle_ (Shippensburg, Pa.) (Dec. 3) 5: Camp Crowder,
> > Mo....The GI pronunciation is something like "Ten-HUT!" Almost every
> > command for execution of drill orders is made with the letter "h,"
> > regardless of what it may have been originally. "March" becomes "harch"
> and
> > "face" becomes "hace"and so on.  Believe it or not, there really is a
> > logical reason for it. The reason is that the "h" sound can be started
> out
> > with a powerful stab of the diaphram [sic]...which gives body and
> carrying
> > quality to the command. Any word used as a command of execution in drill
> > and which is not needed for understanding the order becomes simply "Hut"
> or
> > Hoo!" "Hut!" is a very powerful word.
> >
>
> Slightly earlier for "atten-hut":
>
> ---
>
> https://www.nytimes.com/1943/02/14/archives/shavetail-tells-all-he-describes-with-an-eye-on-the-sergeant-his.html
> New York Times, Feb. 14, 1943, Sunday Magazine, p. 10, col. 1
> Second Lieutenant George Bristol, Camp Rucker, Ala.
> He's going up the barracks steps, that guy whose shoulders bear the bright
> gold bars. He's entering the door. Inside some one yells, "Atten-HUT!"
> ---
>
> --bgz
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
- Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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


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