James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Apr 4 23:57:33 UTC 2002

In a message dated 04/03/2002 5:41:43 PM Eastern Standard Time,
dave at WILTON.NET writes:

> I was just wondering if there were doctrinal definitions underlying the
>  jargon/taboos, or if they were just unofficial tradition. I can, for
>  instance, define the difference between a tank and a Bradley infantry
>  fighting vehicle--both are armored, have turrets that rotate 360 deg, and
>  have cannon, but a tank has heavier armor and the cannon is much, much
>  larger. But I can't find any official definitions that make the

If there exists a formal written doctrine governing something "forbidden",
then I think most people would say the practice (or lack of practice) is not
a "taboo" but rather a "dogma" or similar term.  For example, observant Jews
did not eat pork.  Is this a "taboo"?  Since the written doctrine has been
around for three millenia, then it is considered not a "taboo" but a
"commandment".  (The term "dogma" is rarely used in describing Judaism.)

As far as I know, there is no AR (Army Regulation) forbidding soldiers from
calling a shoulder arm a "gun", and hence my guess is that an anthropologist
would call this a "taboo".

            - Jim Landau

"You mean Sophocles is NOT a type of mosquito?"  - Rachel Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list