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!