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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 11/28/2007 17:11:23 EDT
Subject: RE: Telegraphically Speaking - Terms From 1858

Message Detail:
Walt, Didn't we decide that "wig-wag" maybe appeared once in Brown?
I have a theory (unsupported by facts) that "wig-wag" was introduced somewhat along the lines of "Coke" for "Coca-Cola," i.e., initially resisted and rejected by the company (especially with fresh memories of cocaine) but finally embraced. I supect that people who derided Myer's flag signals as "wig-wag" drew resentment from the first generation Signal Corps, who saw the term as derogatory or at best making fun of them, but in time -- maybe the passing of the first generation? -- adopted it in defiance and then comfortably. That was the case with other military terms that, over time, became acceptable -- doughboy, dog-face, jar-head(?). I agree that it should be avoided by 1860s Living History interpreters. (If queried, I would bristle and say that "I hate that term, for it makes light of serious business.")
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