words of the year

Albert E. Krahn krahn at PUNCTUATION.ORG
Sat Nov 22 05:56:20 UTC 2003

Allan has said that there have been some nominations for
words of the year, but I don't recall seeing them on ADS-L.

I'm going to nominate the expression
"on the ground" in whatever the name of the
category is for most unneeded. Someone can
help me out with the category.

I'm sure I'm going to hear more of it the rest of the year.
I've just started keeping track, though. The expression
seems to mean something like
"there" or " in that location" or "now," but
it is quite mushy. I'm sure it is NOT a contrast to
"in the air."

Bush used it on 15 Nov.
"The enemy has changed tactics on the ground."

Gwen Ifil on 14 Nov. on Wash Week in Review
"On the ground we saw a renewed military offensive."

Guest on 18 Nov on Nightly News
"In addition to efforts on the ground, . . . ."

". . . on the ground, in his face, Michael Jackson . . . .
     Hollywood Access 21 Nov 03

This reminds of that old "at this point in time" phrase
because it also seems like a long cut for a short word.

Has anyone else noticed this expression? If so, were
there any clear meanings possible?


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