words of the year ("on the ground")

Tom Kysilko pds at VISI.COM
Sat Nov 22 18:30:52 UTC 2003

While I agree that "on the ground" is greatly overused (you can't listen to
NPR/CBC/BBC news for a hour, it seems, without hearing it at least once --
along with "at the end of the day"), I would disagree that it is
unneeded.  I think it's useful to distinguish between the place where
significant events are actually happening and places where they are
planned, ordered, monitored, discussed, etc. or where their effects are felt.
--Tom Kysilko

At 11/21/2003 11:56 PM -0600, Albert E. Krahn wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Albert E. Krahn" <krahn at PUNCTUATION.ORG>
>Subject:      words of the year
>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?

   Tom Kysilko        Practical Data Services
   pds at visi.com       Saint Paul MN USA

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