April 29, 2004

"The sniper community." For years, I've been following the overuse of the word "community." Not everyone who can be put in one category (e.g., gay) is actually in a communal relationship with others in the category who may, in fact, commune in a group. (You could feel sad and left out if you were something that gets called a community but didn't have any rewarding group experiences.) And not every category that people can be put in is the sort of thing that suggests the relationships of community. I remember hearing the expression "the military community" about ten years ago and thinking, now, the use has reached its most ridiculous extreme. Today, on Morning Edition, I heard the most ridiculous one ever, in a story about American soldiers trained as snipers. One of the soldiers referred to "the sniper community." Next up: the loner community.

UPDATE: Chris notes that the most profound misuse of the term "community" is the expression "the international community."

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