Thursday, January 17, 2013


This is a tragic story, not so dissimilar (though not the same) as a story I wrote about.

But I want to focus on this bit:
There is the cousin-in-law who got a job as a cop and then was quietly let go like two weeks later for reasons no one will tell me, and who now plays shoot-em up video games all day. His new milita-member duty is mocking people who call a “magazine” a “clip” and informing them that if they can’t name all the parts of weapon correctly, they have no business having opinions about it.

You see a lot of these attempts to shut down the conversation with respect to guns and also the military. By military I don't necessarily mean members of the military. Quite often it's the armchair warriors. But basically there are people who insist that unless you use every piece of terminology in the way that someone in the military would (even if it's just an armchair warrior fantasy, not reality) then you should shut the fuck up about whether we need to go invade Iraq.

That's kind of dumb for obvious reasons, but given our "respect the troops" mentality it often works. But, yes, the military has a vocabulary, some of which is jargon. Lawyers have jargon. Economists have jargon. English professors have jargon. Jargon has its uses. It's a code, a kind of shorthand, insiders understand, but it also excludes outsiders. "Laymen" speak about economics often using the wrong jargon, but I don't think they're stupid or disrespecting tribe Econ if they do so, they're just not familiar with the lingo. It isn't necessarily important.