No More Freaking "on the ground," Please!!

When did the phrase “on the ground” become a thing? I can’t get through a single newscast without hearing someone say it. It’s become as disgustingly ubiquitous as right-wing talking points. And forget about Congress. They employ it so much in their droning speeches you’d think someone warned them they’d spontaneously combust if they didn’t.

Adding “on the ground” to an assertion or statement doesn’t enhance the meaning or impact of what’s being said. It’s just superfluous junk. It’s like me saying to my wife “honey, It’s been a long day. I going to sleep…in the bed.”

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I get it. Those in the media and politics who spout this nonsense probably believe it makes them seem more in touch with the soldiers and their missions oversees. In truth, however, it just makes them look like blithering fools. …Freaking chickenhawks. Worse! Freaking chickenhawk wannabes!

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when ‘on the ground’ was used to contrast and identify the actions and missions of combat forces in the air or at sea. Now, anyone involved in any mission in the Middle East is said to be “on the ground” even if they’re in an F16 six hours a day, or a carrier off the coast for months at a time. Another term I hate, ‘in theatre’ would be more appropriate…that is if one absolutely must debase and embarrass oneself over the public airwaves.

Why do I have my panties in a twist about this, you may ask? Well, because I’m beginning to see the invasion of “on the ground” on the Dope, here, and here!, and here!!, and dammit, here!!, and, well you get the point. Wouldn’t these and other posts have made just as much sense if the posters hadn’t added “on the ground” to their missives?

So, stop it already. Just freaking STOP!

Make no mistake: at the end of the day, we must stay the course and remain on message. Failure is not an option.

You forgot to admonish us to be “proactive” in our “due diligence” as we do this. :wink:

You do know that “on the ground” does have a specific meaning? It refers to people actually on the battleground or people who are actually “in the shit” as opposed to armchair speculators. It implies that the person refered to has a more accurate perspective. Whether true or not, it does have a specific implication.

The implication of someone who “has a more accurate perspective” is a false one promulgated by those who want to deflect responsibility. Even those on the battlefield may have an inaccurate perspective on a mission and its objectives.

So where should we freak?

The road.

Oh, cosmic managers of games of chance, where’s my 10 billion dollars?

On a plane, obviously. Bonus points if you get them to do an emergency landing to hospitalize/arrest you.

Word on the street is that, going forward, we must leverage our capabilities to maintain market dominance.

I’m tired of all these @#%ing freaks on this @#%ing plane!

Bye-bye plane…

You forgot a couple of ‘god bless america’s’ in there.

You know it’s the conventional wisdom that the boots on the ground now more than ever understand the current situation over seas. With all due respect I must call foul. Folks, at the end of the day, the only solution must be to think outside the box. Redeployment of people to leverage their core competencies is the only way to empower a win win situation.

I’m going to speak up in defense of the metaphor - it is useful, and describes a specific sort of view point.

It’s being over-used at this time, and often by people who should also know that the term ‘fog of war’ should also apply to anything reported by front-line troops. But the flaw is not with the phrase, but with its ubiquity.
ETA: And it’s not just because I use the expression. Really.

My understanding of the phrase is that it refers to information from people who are actively involved in the fighting etc, on the ground (be it in tanks, foxholes, or ruined buildings), as opposed to people miles away at HQ, or sitting 30,000 feet above the battlefield in an AWACS plane, or engaging in rocket attacks on Vietnamese Fishing Villages from Huey Gunships etc.

So yeah, the phrase might be overused but I think it’s a valid and useful phrase nonetheless.

Heh, it’s been around for a while. I started a thread back in 2001 with the very same question/gripe.

Didn’t get much traction though…

Spoken with true gravitas.