Friday, July 30, 2010

The sea has a language all its own

The sea has a language all its own, and the air has largely taken it over, with a few necessary modifications and additions. Everyone who writes naval or maritime history should endeavor to use strong, short words and plain, terse phrases that are consecrated by decades of sea usage and not try to translate them into current journalese or other jargon.

Samuel Eliot Morison


Anonymous said...

My favorite in the mass media:
"Warships" described as "battleships". Happens nearly anytime news of ships is involved....

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

Having spent many years in the seaport of Charleston, South Carolina and reading of the events of the ships here in the local newspaper, it was not unusual to see the words “port hole” rather than “port” or “nautical miles per hour “or “knots per hour” rather than just knots. We used to laugh at how the Charleston News and Courier (we referred to it as the “Newsless Courier") presented the news of the Navy. But with those things aside there have been no CO’s of Navy ships homeported here in Charleston relieved for cause or lack of confidence to Command, because we have no ships homeported in Charleston anymore.

Very Respectfully,