Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Rank Ignorance II: The New York Times Blows it Again! 
And it’s in an otherwise tremendous article!

“The other day I told General Petraeus about a young specialist fourth class I had met while waiting for a military flight out of Baghdad.”
The problem is, there’s no such thing as a “specialist fourth class” in the Army.

The author, Lucian K. Truscott IV, is himself a West Point graduate. I suspect he used the outdated abbreviation, Spec./4 in his copy. That would have been correct when he was in the service, when there were several different 'specialist' ranks. That hasn't been the case for a few decades, though. And the 4 refers to a pay grade, not to a class. That’s one difference between Navy and Army ranks.

I suspect some copy editor, looking to eliminate jargon from the article, decided to spell it out, and guessed wrong.

Once again, a New York Times writer is let down by the exclusion of veterans in the editorial ranks.

Cultural diversity counts.

Splash, out


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