Monday, May 18, 2009

Linguistics Update

While I was thinking and talking about our CHUs, I noticed another Army pronoun I do not remember from the 70s: Bitch. I do not mean the act of complaining or a derogatory reference to a woman, those uses are no different than the civilian usage. But when I cataloqued the use of Shit as a pronoun, I did not notice there is an upper size limit on the use of that word.

When a soldier refers to a truck, or a building, or other very large object, he will often say "This bitch is ready to paint" referring to a recently repaired truck or "This bitch has a busted air conditioner" referring to a CHU without the most important creature comfort. So there is a line somewhere between a duffel bag and a Deuce-and-a-half truck where the item referred to is no longer "that shit" but "this bitch."

My First Military Haircut, February 1, 1972

The night before my Basic Training haircut. When I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base on February 1, 1972, among the first order of bu...