'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Creative Semantics 

There was some interesting usage of the the terms 'ceasefire' and 'truce' in today's papers -- from "Marines in Falluja Still Face and Return Relentless Fire", NYT,

Falluja is now a strange replay of the war. Even with the cease-fire, the action here is the heaviest fighting since the Hussein government fell a year ago.

and from "U.S. launches attacks in Falluja", AP,

U.S. warplanes and helicopters firing heavy machine-guns, rockets and cannons hammered insurgents today in the besieged city of Falluja, and the commander of U.S. marines here warned that a fragile truce was near collapse

Maybe it's just me, but shouldn't a ceasefire involve ceasing to fire? And hasn't a truce in which one party is firing heavy machine-guns with warplanes and helicopters already collapsed?

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