13 August 2012

Nomenclature

I am something of a stickler for using the correct terms.

I don't say clip when I mean magazine.

I don't say pedophile when I mean pederast.

Gaming is responsible, but it was really rammed home while I was in the Army.

Each tank has four bent t-shaped dealies that you pin into loops on the hull that you attach tie-down chains to.  It's called an anchor.

The NSN of this part is ONE number different from the anchor for a Navy frigate, Knox class we were told.

How did we come to be told?

We ordered a tank anchor to replace a broken one.

What arrived was a flat-bed 18 wheeler, four bemused Navy personnel and a ship's anchor!

We got it straightened out, in fact it would have been straightened out over the phone if we hadn't been in the field when they were trying to confirm.  Without confirmation they fudged and sent it out on the off chance that we needed it.

Ain't the military wonderfully dense sometimes?

Next time someone tells you that bothering to get the right terminology doesn't matter, remember my anchor.

There are lots of places where precision in speaking or writing matter a very great deal.  Getting meters and yards confused can lead to some very large errors very quickly.  Sure seem almost the same, don't they?

Some terms could be interchanged at will except for the costs associated with them.

"Assault weapon" is in this category.  There's a lot of people who are into guns nowadays who likely weren't gun owners or politically aware back in early nineties when that term was coined.  "Assault weapon" is an anti-gun term.  They coined it knowing that people would make the connection with "assault rifle."  Assault rifle was defined as "selective fire, magazine fed shoulder arm firing an intermediate power cartridge."  Compare that definition to "assault weapon" as defined in the AWB.  They were trying to get people to think "machine-gun" when they saw anything that shared cosmetic features with specific models of genuine assault rifles.

Much effort was expended to correct the impression the antis were trying to create with that term.  So much effort in fact that there's a lot of resentment towards new gun people getting it wrong.

I know that I've ranted on this before; but consider this:  When you let your opponent define the terms of the debate you've lost it.  Assault weapon is a term meant to sow confusion and eliminate precision about what is being discussed.

Always remember, if you cannot say what you mean you cannot mean what you say.  If what you said can be taken two ways, and one of them can be used against you; you will be presented as saying that no matter what you meant.

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