Special Section: The Uses of Vietspeak

Q: When is a war not a war? A: The fighting in Viet Nam is referred to as an "international armed conflict," according to the Judge Advocate General's Office. —Army Digest, April 1968

EVERY war makes its peculiar contributions to the language. There was still a sense of heroics in the neologisms of World War I: over the top into no man's land. World War II created a new terminology of mass death: fission, fire storm, and the final solution. From Korea, the first confrontation...

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