Kit and caboodle

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 16 05:18:00 UTC 2007

During the Vietnam era, using 1960 as the official start date of that
era, since service on or after 1 Jan 1960 qualified one for the
Vietnam-Era GI Bill, there was no Defense Language Institute. There
was the U.S. Army Language School at the Presidio of Monterey,
California. In addition to the human resources of the Army, the
Language School, during the Vietnam era and earlier, also served the
human resources of the Navy and those of the Marine Corps. The Air
Force had its own language school, then located at Lackland Air Force
Base, Texas. There was, at that time and, no doubt, still is, the
Foreign Service Language Institute, located somewhere in the Greater
Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area.

Back in the day, the ALS taught more than eighty languages, some
having only a single student. All the languages that you mention were
among those taught in those days. In order to get a handle on our
foreign policy by examining the Language Institute, one would have to
know how many students were studying a given language. In my day, the
ALS had two divisions, "Russian" and "Other Languages." There were
about 400 military human rresources studying Russian, which was
subdivided into three separate courses of varying lengths. The other
79 or so languages had about 400 students in toto. I'd call that a
pretty good clue as to the foreign policy of the day.

I'm well aware of the reincarnation of the old ALS as the new Defense
Language Institute, West Coast Branch, and its Web site has been among
my bookmarks since there've been bookmarks. I last visited the
Presidio, as an old grad, in 1979. Things had already changed so much
that I was nearly unable to find my way into the Presidio. The
elimination of Private Bolio Drive, in my day, the main entrance to
the Presidio, was a real disappointment. it was one of the few major
boulevards on a major military base not only named after an enlisted
man, but also after one of such low rank.

As for the question as to whether there are several language
institutes or merely one with several branches, well, that strikes me
as merely splitting hairs. Macht es nichts, to coin a phrase.


On 5/15/07, Landau, James <James.Landau at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Landau, James" <James.Landau at NGC.COM>
> Subject:      Kit and caboodle
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My daughter asked me for information on the origin of the phrase "kit
> and caboodle".  Can anybody help
> Aside to Wilson Gray:  there is only one Defense Language Institute,
> although during Vietnam it had branches at Fort Bliss, Texas and
> somewhere in the Washington DC area..  Its Web site,
>, certainly seems to show it is alive and well:
> "DLIFLC is home to more than 3,500 military and civilian students
> annually and employs over 1,600 faculty and staff. We are in the
> business of teaching language to the finest group of students in the
> United States and welcome the opportunity to show the public why we are
> the premier foreign language institute in the world."
> On the Web site is the announcement:
> "Now Hiring Teachers for Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean,
> Kurdish, Pashto, and Persian."
> What this says about future US foreign policy is unclear.  Arabic,
> Kurdish, Dari, and Pashto are spoken in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they
> are no surprise.  Neither is Korean or Chinese.  Hindi seems a little
> unlikely - we don't have troops stationed in India, do we?  I'd expect
> more interest in Urdu than in Hindi, but maybe they already have Urdu
> staff.  Hebrew also seems unlikely - are we expecting to be involved in
> another Arab-Israeli war? =20
>      - James A. Landau
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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