Bin Laden and PC

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 4 17:16:24 UTC 2011

On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 10:11 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> I guess none of spokesindividuals are familiar with the use of "Geronimo!"
> as a paratrooper's motto, based on the Burt Lancaster movie.

Not to mention the use of "Geronimo!" as the punchline of the old joke
about the Texas method of lightening a load.

Personally, I don't get it. I would have felt honored, had Usama been
assigned the name of a great African-American as his cover. Had he
been referenced as, e.g. "Uncle Remus," my heart would have literally
been BURSTING with pride! Think of how much of the taxpayers' money
has been spent on hunting Usama, over the years! That in itself should
be tremendous source of pride. No such amount of money, even
translated into 2011 dollars was spent hunting the original Geronimo.
Not to mention that he wasn't KIA. He merely surrendered.

OTOH, I have a problem with the use of "KIA," in a case like this. KIA
implies that, like a red-blooded American defender of our freedom,
Usama had died in combat. I haven't read the news particularly
closely, but my impression is that Usama was basically a sitting duck,
not engaged in any kind of pro-, or even re-, active defense of
himself and al-Qaida.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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