"My children are in the service"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Aug 12 16:02:17 UTC 2001

Ooooops! Watch it what you say about us old farts. When I hear
"developments in the language," I usually jump for joy rather than
"shudder." (I save most of my shuddering for the political scene.)


>  >No, it certainly meant "in the military" when I was growing up (and I
>>still hear it from olld-timers like myself) - EA, 61, Floyd County,.
>>IN, WC (now whatever class LIng Profs are), M.
>"... in the service"  has always meant /in the armed forces/ to me since
>WWII, living in the Midwest, Pacific NW, California (north & south),  and
>In fact, "in the military"  is what sounds odd to me: unfinished, like "as
>far as" without its complement. But I'm an old fart and accustomed by now
>to the involuntary  occasional shudder at developments in the language
>used, e.g., in newsreading and other reporting on NPR.
>A. Murie

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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