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Daniel Dvorkin's Journal: Old soldiers never die, nor stop grumbling. 4

Journal by Daniel Dvorkin

Note to copywriters working for the DoD, or trying to appeal to a military audience: "soldier," "sailor," and "airman" are not proper nouns. "Marine" is a proper noun, because it happens to be part of the name of the service, United States Marine Corps. (Or, for that matter, the Royal Marine Corps on which the US version was modeled.) This does not mean that Marines are any more special or heroic or elite than members of the other services. (Marines, of course, will disagree, but that's part of their shtick. The rest of us just smile and nod.) It's an accident of language, no more.

Also not proper nouns: "military" and "veteran." Capitalizing any of these words, when they do not appear at the beginning of a sentence, does not emphasize how Special and Heroic and Elite our Brave Fighting Men And Women are for Making Sacrifices to Defend Our Freedom. It just makes you look illiterate. Now, you may not particularly care about literacy -- you're in the advertising business, after all -- but by God and the Constitution, I fought specially and heroically and elitely to defend your right to speak freely, not to sound like a moron doing so!

Thank You, and Have A Nice Day.

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Old soldiers never die, nor stop grumbling.

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  • "Now, you may not particularly care about literacy -- you're in the advertising business, after all"

    Two words: "carline"

    I think you have to take an IQ test to get into advertiaing. Any score over 70 is disqualified.

    • Okay, none of the Google hits on "carline" seem particulary informative. What's the advertising-speak abuse of the word ... or do I even want to know?

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        You probably don't want to know. It was from a particularly annoying (to me, anyway) ad for one of the auto manufacturers a few years ago, where the announcer said "the best selling car line" while "BEST SELLING CARLINE!" was printed on the screen.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva