The Speaker of the House of Commons has just spoken about "The most important event the World will ever see."
The Chief of the Imperial General Staff ... as we used to call him ... got to the rhetorical moment at which his obvious words would be "our sailors, soldiers, and airmen". But, for the last of those words, he substituted "aviators".
Probably a classicist.
Aviator is now the official term. The Times noted it about a year ago:
“The RAF has ditched the terms “airmen” and “airwomen” in favour of the gender-neutral term “aviator”.
The decision was quietly announced in the November issue of AirClues, an official RAF magazine, in a section about safety objectives.
It reads: “By the way, if that’s the first time you’ve heard the term ‘aviator’ ... then get on board. No longer does it mean just aircrew, but the term ‘aviator’ has now replaced the generic term of ‘airman’ to bring right up to date the way we should describe all of our personnel in a modern and appropriate manner.
“So, it’s no longer ‘Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen’ but ‘Soldiers, Sailors & Aviators’. Watch out for TV commentators getting used to that.”
When writing and speaking English, I always try to use, whenever I can, Germanic words (that is, words of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse origin. (Yes, i do know that "use" and "origin" are from the Latin, through Norman-French.) Therefore I am saddened when a good old English word like "airman" (albeit only half-English, like myself) is forsaken for a welsh (that is, "foreign") word like "aviator". It might have something to do with the "man" in "airman": quite a thorn in the eye of today's "wokist" trendsetters.
Some may doubtless take offence at the substitution "aviators" for "airmen" as exclusive of women, when there is another word which could have been added. The OED under "Aviator" adds "Aviatress, -trice, -trix" a female aviator, and has an entry from 1910 which reads "The aviatrice made a bad turn". So the Chief should be admonished to refer to our "aviators and aviatrices" if he wishes to be truly inclusive.
"the most important event the world will ever see"... is said as referring to what?
I take it that he does not refer to either the Incarnation or the Crucifixion, but even regrettably taking into account that "the religious sphere" is totally banished from these calculations: which of the three battles of Actium, Tours-Poitiers or Normandy does he refer to? Or does he refer to the taming of Fire? The Invention of Writing? Or one of those other similarly important events... what does he refer to?
I'm afraid these profoundly silly words refer to the obsequies of Queen Elizabeth II.
It's a hoot, is it not, all this “correct speech”:
Batters (not Batsmen);
Actors (not Actresses);
Talisperson (not Talisman);
Portuguese People O’War (instead of Portuguese Man O’War);
People of Harlech (instead of “Men of Harlech”), etc.
No doubt, The Senior Service (The Royal Navy) will now have to refer to “People O’War”, in lieu of “Men O’War”.
Let's all go to The Funny Farm.
Wow. But thanks.
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