Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Orleans insurgency

The Army Times (owned by Gannett) writes about fighting the "insurgency" in New Orleans.

This follows the usage of "insurgent" in Iraq to apply to anyone fighting the U.S. occupation, a move away from the definition of "a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially: a rebel not recognized as a belligerent."

As Phil Blanchard once pointed out at Testy Copy Editors:
"Insurgent" is best reserved for its political meanings; Howard Dean fits the definition of an insurgent Democrat. "Insurgent" also sometimes describes a rebel who is not violent.
We're witnessing a shift in the meaning, from the above definition to something more closely resembling this one:
1: a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions) [syn: insurrectionist, freedom fighter, rebel] 2: a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment [syn: guerrilla, guerilla, irregular]
You get to decide how lenient to be in your publication. How would most readers understand the word?


At 2:55 AM, September 07, 2005, Blogger Peter Fisk said...

My votes:
a. Iraq has insurgents.
b. New Orleans has gangs.

At 4:30 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

I'm distracted by "guerilla" being a synonym for "guerrilla."


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