special operators

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 3 13:39:38 UTC 2011

At 9:22 AM -0400 5/3/11, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>I believe I first noticed "special operators" used in the early days of the
>Afghanistan invasion
>, but certainly no later than the invasion of Iraq.
>It sounded strange to me too. However, the rationale may be that "special
>forces" (the older term) suggests Army Special Forces ("Green Berets")
>exclusively. The new term is also vague enough to add extra secrecy and
>mystery to the proceedings: maybe Delta Force or the CIA was involved, or
>some organization nobody's ever heard of before and never will.
>"Special operations," of course, has been around for a long time.
Frequently rendered as "Special ops".


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list