Letters to the Editor

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WAR: ‘Casualty’ refers to wounded as well as dead

Letter by J. Jay Gruenfeld, DuPont on May 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm with No Comments »
June 4, 2010 9:14 am

Re: “America’s ‘casualty gap'” (TNT, 5-30).

The authors initially and accurately refer to Americans “who have lost their lives,” “ultimate sacrifice” and “died.” Then they 16 times use some form of the word “casualty,” which according to dictionaries and the military includes both killed and wounded.

The authors justify this use by writing, “Although the military uses ‘casualty’ to include wounded soldiers . . . the standard practice in political science uses the term casualty to denote deaths.”

I studied some political science and was also a casualty a few times in World War II and strongly disagree. In my opinion, the poor word choice degraded an otherwise good article.

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