Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Dec 4 16:11:20 UTC 2006

Maybe it's just me, but my perception has been that references to "the enemy" in military contexts have been relatively infrequent among media newscasters. I began noticing this during the Vietnam War.

  It's used often enough for emphatic description: ("Let's remember that al-Qaeda is the enemy") but much less often in less explanatory contexts: ("Enemy fighters fired at the Americans").

  Why this should be so - if it's so - is not at all clear.  Just one of those microlinguistic things ?


"Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joel S. Berson"
Subject: Enemy

At 12/4/2006 09:47 AM, JL wrote:
>"Bad guys" was in frequent use during the unpleasantness in SE Asia.
>See HDAS.
> In a world where "enemy" is a designation that may be fading from
>popular use,

Is George Bush really that unpopular?

(What comes up first for me on Google is the presumtively-official page
quoting him on July 4 of this year.)


>"bad guys" usefully distinguishes such persons from
>friendlier Vietnamese, Iraqis, etc.

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