OT: War of 1812

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 27 19:13:47 UTC 2010

I think that I was in the '50's, before I even knew that the U.S. had
tried to invade Canada. I knew that there had been some battle on the
Great Lakes that gave birth to some saying that I can't recall, at the
moment. But I didn't know that it had anything to do with the War of
1812. In the '60's, I read somewhere or other that D.C. had been
captured in that war. I thought, "Wait a minute! If the enemy torched
our capital, how can it be claimed that the U.S. has 'never lost a war
(so, how can we possibly be allowing some French-Indo-Chinese savages
in breechclouts to kick our ass?)'" Technically speaking, I guess that
it's not a loss, if there's no formal surrender, but WTF? It's at
least a TKO!

Another problem that I had a long discussion with a Canadian former
roommate (you may know him, Geoff N.: John Lumsden) about concerns the
loss to Canada of American (now renamed "British") Columbia, despite
"54-40 or Fight." That really "puts the kibosh on," to coin a phrase,
the claim that "the U.S. has never lost a war," as we were taught
during my school years.

Oh, well. I guess that there's ro real point in worrying about it. In
another century, both the Vietnam War and the Middle-East War will
have been unlost. Perhaps they'll be redefined as "police actions," as
was done in the case of the Korean War.


On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 10:16 AM, Geoff Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Geoff Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: OT: War of 1812
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: OT: War of 1812
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 09:49:22AM -0400, Amy West wrote:
>> > On 5/27/10 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>> >> Date:    Wed, 26 May 2010 21:51:21 -0400
>> >> From:    Wilson Gray<hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>> >> Subject: OT: War of 1812
>> >>
>> >> "Natives getting short shrift in_War of 1812 Bicentennial_!"
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Did anyone else besides Geoff Nathan know that Canada*celebrates*
>> the
>> >> War of 1812?
>> For an impressive example of this,
> And also see the poignant Stan Rogers song about (probably) General Brock's second in command, who also died at the battle of Queenston Heights, but after Brock died, and who apparently rallied the troops. He just has a small grave marker, as opposed to the Brock Monument:
> At Queenston now, the General
> on his tower stands alone
> And there's lichen on 'MacDonnell'
> carved upon that weathered stone
> In a corner of the monument to glory you
> could claim,
> But not one in ten thousand knows
> your name.
> You brought the field all standing with
> your courage and your luck
> But unknown to most,
> you're lying there beside old General Brock.
> So you know what it is to scale the Heights
> and fall just short of fame
> And have not one in ten
> thousand know your name.
> Geoffrey S. Nathan (both Canadian and American now)
> Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
> +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
> +1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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