Almost four years ago I wrote a little diatribe about the frequent misuse of the word troop. This grating of media fingernails on my chalkboard continues.
Naturally the media are the primary offenders as they spend so much time talking about the US military and its various activities in the Middle East.
A troop is not a single soldier. A troop is a group of soldiers of a particular size, like a unit or a division. Or one might speak of a Boy Scout troop, meaning a certain group of scouts.
It is wrong — or at the very least, careless — for the media to continue speaking of US “troops” when they mean individual US soldiers. Mothers don’t kiss their troop when they send him off to war and wives don’t kiss their troop when he returns from war. We’ll never see a Tomb of the Unknown Troop.
And we’ll never see the media losing sleep over the grumblings of pedantic old ladies.