Go fight that abstraction

Jason Harris insists:

The phrase “war on terror” is like a hot spike driving through my brain. Technically, the usage is correct but it still sounds to me like the equivalent of a war on fear, which is damned stupid. How does one fight a war against an abstract concept? Is the extra syllable in the more accurate, and almost as aggravating, “war on terrorism” that onerous?

5 thoughts on “Go fight that abstraction

  1. As a euphemism, the “War on Terror” (the effort to increase the effectiveness of terrorism in controlling the populace AND the means by which the US will expand it’s military presence globally and into space) is not unlike the “War on Drugs” (fighting a war while in a drugged state? -or: using the pretext of controlling the drug trade as a means of extending US influence), it keeps the two charged terms in the public consciousness irregardless of proper usage. In the 60’s, wasn’t it the “War on Poverty?” I think that battle has been immensely successful.

  2. Rhodin, the US will not “…expand it’s military presence….” My earlier comment to Terry about taking care with one’s own writing if one is going to criticize the writing of others applies here. Please, get rid of the damned apostrophe!

  3. Hello. I’m glad you brought this to light. War against abstractions and intangibles is an awfully silly conceptual flaw. Like in most cases: Terror wins war on Terror, Drugs won war on Drugs, Poverty won war on Poverty. Seeing as how we can have wars against feelings, I can capitalize Anything I want.

    I would like too see the War on Abivalent Propaganda. It would behoove us to trek and hunt down Ambivalence wherever it may be hiding, in it’s cowardice.

  4. If regardless means “without regard” and the adjective ‘irr’ negates a noun, such as ‘recoverable’, then the word – and it is a word – would seem to mean ‘with regard’. Since the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary recommends not using it at all due to the confusion it creates, why not Ban it for Life once and for all. Put it to rest. Deep six it. Give it a dirt nap.