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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Say again?

Something happens to people who work for a long time in large bureaucracies like government departments or large corporations; the part of the brain responsible for clear, concise speech atrophies due to overexposure to jargon. Case in point: Lieutenant-Colonel Omer Lavoie, commander of Canada's battle group in southern Afghanistan, speaking to reporters about the NATO victory over Taliban forces on Saturday in the battle of Panjwaii:


The posturing of our forces was very deliberate. The way we postured the forces was based on a high expectation of how we thought the enemy would react to the posture itself.... They acted the way that we expected they would act and became decisively engaged and had insurmountable difficulties breaking contact with us.... A 10% [Taliban] casualty figure is an extremely big blow to your combat effectiveness.

Translation into English: "We were attacked, we fought back the way we were trained, and we kicked some Taliban ass."

3 comments:

Jim said...

I don't read it that way. I think he was saying that his forces provoked the attack and the Taliban bit.

MB said...

This is more military jargon than bureaucratic. Jim is right. He is saying that they set up a situation to get the Taliban to attack and then kicked their ass.

This was a trap, what we usually call an ambush.

Admittedly, he should be using a bit less military jargon to make it easier to understand. Hopefully he will get some press guy to work with him.

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