Bin Laden and PC

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 4 17:39:08 UTC 2011

I think saying "Bang! You're dead!" would have been sufficient, because
language is loaded weapon.


On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Bin Laden and PC
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 1:16 PM -0400 5/4/11, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >
> >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.
> >
> Well, after all, bin Laden was killed in the course of the Navy
> Seals' action even if not his own.  After all, KIA doesn't specify
> whose action the killee was killed in.  Underspecification strikes
> again!
> LH
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