Civilian to Militarese - Chapter Two


Even my 65 year old auntie knows what  a REMF is. 

However, when my fourteen year old recently got in trouble with MySpace and I was discussing the issue with my auntie, she had no idea what I meant when I said, "Hubby and I are planning her 'Come to Jesus' talk tonight."

Apparently, I learned later from other family members, she thought we were going to take her to a revivalist tent meeting.

I let that one slide, I figured that it would just perplex her even more when I tried to explain that a "Come to Jesus" talk actually had nothing to do with Jesus Christ and could be delivered by a person of any religion or even an avowed atheist.

But it reminded me that in addition to the frequent creating of common words out of acronyms, and verbing, and verbing of acronyms; we should also include several helpful and handy phrases in our planned English to Militarese dictionary. 

"Come to Jesus" should, of course, be defined as, "You are in WAY big trouble.  Repent now or you will forever be damned."

I would also highly recommend including "Chairborne Ranger".  Probably near the top.  We had quite an experience with this phrase, too, after a civilian friend of mine asked me what my husband did.  I was in a joking mood, and hubby was currently in a school, so I told her he was a Chairborne Ranger.  She said, "Oh wow!  That is SO COOL!"

After a bit of shocked silence, I explained to her the difference between what she perceived a Chairborne Ranger to be, and what it really was.  To commemorate the occasion after I updated hubby about what had happened, I managed to find a patch to give him that showed a Microsoft symbol and said, "PowerPoint Ranger - 1000+ Hours"

As far as wonderful and ubiquitous phrases go, I also love "Forward Engaged."  As in, "That commander is so Forward Engaged that when you move the mouse, he actually clicks it for you."  Yes, yes - the term really means "micro-manager".  And there is nothing wrong with the actual term micro-manager.  I have adopted the use of Forward Engaged, myself, though; much like I brought home the use of "y'all" from our stint in Texas and "like"and "totally" from a lifetime of being Californian.

These colloquialisms would just be the start of the phrase portion of the English to Militarese dictionary, of course.  I'm sure with just a little effort, we can come up with a few hundred pages worth! 

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