ADS-L Digest - 12 Apr 2009 to 13 Apr 2009 (#2009-104)

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 14 14:19:07 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 9:34 AM, James A. Landau
<JJJRLandau at> <JJJRLandau at> wrote:

> An Associated Press report out of Mombasa, Kenya by "ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY and PAULINE JELINEK" reads:
> "The U.S. is considering new options to fight piracy, including adding Navy gunships along the Somali coastline and launching a campaign to disable pirate ``mother ships,'' according to military officials."
> Please, a "gunship" (aka "Puff the Magic Dragon") is an AIRPLANE, not a sea-going vessel. Â Specifically, a gunship is a cargo-type airplane armed with high-rate-of-fire machine guns or cannon. Â Gunships would be very useful for a landing on the Somali coast but are overkill for chasing pirate speedboats or even mother ships.
> I have no objection to female reporters reporting on nautical news (it was a nineteen-year-old woman who commanded the third-fastest clipper ship run around Cape Horn), but there is no excuse for not getting military jargon straight, particularly if quoting "military officials" (civilian or uniformed?).

So nu, is there any  [ point in / constructive way of ] telling them? (Sigh.)

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society -

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