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Mudge Smash Monday – Everything ‘Tactical’

It seems that word ‘tactical’ has become a bit over used, to the point that the virtual pitchforks and torches come out in a demonstration of outrage every time it pops up. Shoot, if you want to make Mudge really angry, just utter the word. In fact, he won’t even be able to read this story without that vein in his shiny forehead popping out. You may not survive if you ask him to read the word aloud.

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According to Merriam-Webster, the adjective ‘tactical’ refers to:

Main Entry: tac·ti·cal
Pronunciation: \?tak-ti-k?l\
Function: adjective
Date: 1570
1 : of or relating to combat tactics: as a (1) : of or occurring at the battlefront (2) : using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront b of an air force : of, relating to, or designed for air attack in close support of friendly ground forces 2 a : of or relating to tactics: as (1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose (2) : made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view b : adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose

I’ll leave it to you to come up with some alternative. Share your ideas in the comments.

11 Responses to “Mudge Smash Monday – Everything ‘Tactical’”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    The Oxford dictionary gives a nice succinct definition:

    1. “Of, relating to, or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end.”
    1.1 “(Of bombing or weapons) done or for use in immediate support of military or naval operations. Often contrasted with strategic.”
    1.2 “(Of a person or their actions) showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action.”

    Origin:
    Late 16th century (in the sense ‘relating to military or naval tactics’): from Greek taktikos.

    So, probably 99% of the current uses of it are incorrect, according to the dictionary definition – but then the question would have to be, what alternative is there really? I mean, we have law enforcement tactical teams and tactical officers. We have military and law enforcement units that employ special tactics and/or engage in tactical operations. So, isn’t it logical to use the “tactical” label for any special weapons, gear, accessories, etc. they employ which are specifically designed to help them do what they do?

    Ultimately, should we blame the WORD or the USER for this over-use / misuse? Personally, I blame the user who uses it incorrectly – just as I blame the shooter, not the gun, when an illegal usage thereof occurs.

    • Mike Nomad says:

      Thank the Gods, sanity in the first reply of the thread.

      I’ve come to embrace the over/mis- use of the word “tactical,” just as I can now (finally) float along on my Inner Sampan Of Tranquility when some Ass Clown goes on about “high capacity clips”: It helps me pre-sort those that may need shooting if things go sideways.

      • Mike Nomad says:

        To get back on the beam, I’d like to see “Tactical” replaced with “Applied Strategery.” Yes, it sounds stupid, and would make you think twice about using it. Which is the point: I see precious few instances where usage of the word “Tactical” as a modifier is truly warranted.

        Campaign: Think before you Tactical. The life you save will most likely be your own.

        • CeeDee says:

          “Applied Strategery.” Great, but not backronym-ized enough. Applied Systematic Strategery, maybe? ASS?

          • Mike Nomad says:

            If I may offer a small tweak…

            Applied Strategery Systemics.

            (and)

            Campaign: “No matter how you slice it, it still looks like ASS.”

  2. Captain Howard says:

    Fellas.

    What is your job description?

    No, you two.

    What is your job description?

    I’ll tell you.

    TNT: Tactical Narcotics Team.

    Keyword: “tactical.”

    “Displaying finesse and subtlety in achieving a goal!”

    Tell me, gentlemen…what was subtle about your work today?

    Twenty-two cars…and a boat, totaled? How did you sink a boat?

  3. HD says:

    Operators operating tactically in an operating environment