The Atlantic

Troops Is an Unethical Euphemism

A soldier is a person. A troop is something from the game of Risk.
Source: Bryan Woolston / Reuters

Linguists are famous—or perhaps infamous—for our tolerant attitude toward language and how it changes. Given the widespread misconception that we are professional grammar police, we often disappoint people in saying that it is not scientifically “wrong” to say “less books” rather than “fewer books” or to say “irregardless” rather than “regardless.” Among the many reasons we view language so impartially is because attempts to deter people from speaking in ways they find natural essentially never work except superficially.

Which is why it is perhaps quixotic as well as vaguely unprofessional for me to.

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