FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Fri Apr 18 16:00:00 UTC 2003

Here is an amusing little anecdote about the meaning of the word 'troops' that I came across in _Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore_ by B. A. Botkin p. 575:

WE HAVE A FRIEND, A Miss Anderson who lives in Washington D.C. One time another mutual friend, an army officer, invited her to go with him to the battlefield of Gettysburg. Arriving there they went to the scene of Pickett's charge, which he was studying. He said to the young lady: "Now this is where the troops were and the enemy was over there," indicating the position.
        Miss Anderson said: "No, the enemy was [where] the troops were and the troops were over there"--indicating the opposite situation.
        He said: "No, you do not understand--the troops were here and the enemy was there."
        To which she replied: " I understand you, but I still maintain that the troops were here and the enemy there." as she had previously indicated.
        Her friend paused, looked quizzically at her for a few moments and then said: "Where were you born and reared?"
        With a smile she replied: " In Tennessee."
---- Annie C. Murray

BTW, in our Civil War reenacting group, we use 'trooper' (we are a cavalry unit) as the singular.
Fritz Juengling

>>> mam at THEWORLD.COM 04/16/03 01:50PM >>>
This usage is nothing new. I seem to recall being prescriptively warned
against this in my high school grammar books in the early sixties.

That doesn't mean I like it!

-- Mark A. Mandel

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