Random Acts of Living

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bone to Pick

I have a bone to pick, I'm just not sure with who. Here in recent years, with our men fighting overseas it confused and concerned me that so many "troops" were dying. Here's my bone... the word "troop". I was under the impression that this word was plural, just as it was... troop. The news started reporting that multiple troop had died in roadside explosions and I'm thinking, how many men are in a troop? Then I'm told that when they say X number of troops that means X number of men. HUH? So I looked it up in the dictionary:

1. an assemblage of persons or things; company; band.
2 .a great number or multitude: A whole troop of children swarmed through the museum.
3. Military. an armored cavalry or cavalry unit consisting of two or more platoons and a headquarters group.
4. troops, a body of soldiers, police, etc.: Mounted troops quelled the riot.
5. a unit of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts usually having a maximum of 32 members under the guidance of an adult leader.
6. a herd, flock, or swarm.
7. Archaic. a band or troupe of actors.

Nowhere does this say that it is anything but plural. I believe the correct terminology should be a troop consisting of X number of soldiers.

Anybody else have any thoughts on this?


Anita said...

I've always wondered about that too...
Why couldn't they just say "soldiers are dying"... ? I think "troops" is more PC...

Moonshadow said...

But how does politically correct equate with grammatically correct? I realize that we don't speak a dead language and that our words are constantly evolving. But don't people check the dictionary for what words mean anymore?

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, I remember the series F Troop, about a group of soldiers in the old west, hence troop meaning a bunch of people, singular is trooper,I think .

Alice said...

Yes, I've thought the same thing. It sounds awkward to my ears every time I hear it.

Moonshadow said...

Bob - the definition of trooper in the dictionary applies it specifically to mounted calvary or police or motorized. F Troop! What a hoot!

Alice - glad to see I'm not alone in flynching every time I hear it.