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Soldiers Use Slang to Take Edge Off in War

December 14th, 2009


Not only does Jimmy Buffett personally try to improve the lives of soldiers by performing for them and raising money for the wounded, he also does so in a way he may not even be aware of.

A Fox News article published on Monday describes slang terms used by soldiers in Iraq to try to take the edge off:

The Department of Veterans Affairs has published a list detailing the vocabulary of Operation Iraqi Freedom — a list that contains such entries as “death blossom,” a term originating in the 1984 science-fiction film “The Last Starfighter.” It is used by servicemen to describe fire sprayed indiscriminately in all directions. The list also includes the terms “Mortaritaville” and “Bombaconda,” both referring to LSA Anaconda, a base near Balad, Iraq, that is frequently the target of mortar attacks.

“Soldiers use these terms because they try to make the best they can of their situation and give things kind of a humorous angle,” said Lt. Col. Charles Kohler of the Maryland National Guard.

The term “Mortaritaville,” a reference to the Jimmy Buffett song “Margaritaville,” is only one of many terms soldiers use to take the edge off an environment that is potentially frightening and often beyond their control, said Indiana University linguist Michael Adams.

“It’s making a really terrifying experience manageable by attempting to make it familiar,” Adams said.

Read the full article here.

(hat tip to Tim for passing this along)


Tagged in Charitable Causes, Miscellaneous