Emergency Service

Words And Definitions We Need Not Know

Since the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and over the ensuing 14 years, we Americans have learned an entire new vocabulary that would be better left unlearned, if only possible.

Here are some random terms and words whose meanings are all too clear. There is no humor here, only sadness:

–9/11 as in the day the world changed
–RADICALIZED as in “he used to be normal, but grew a beard and got radicalized.”
–ACTIVE SHOOTER as in “a gunman entered….”
–NEUTRALIZED as in “the threat was neutralized.” (killed)
–LONG GUN as opposed to a pistol or handgun
–ASSAULT WEAPON as an intimidating rifle not intended for hunting
–TACTICAL GEAR as in army surplus pants
–BDUs as in “battle dress uniform”
–FIRST RESPONDER as in cops and firemen
–HEROES as in cops, firemen, and teachers
–IED as in bomb or booby trap
–GO-PRO as in “he was wearing a go pro.”
–BODY CAM similar to a Go Pro camera
–DASH CAM as in police camera in a car
–GRAPHIC IMAGES as in violent gory video from a Body Cam, Go Pro, or Dash Cam
–ON SCENE as in at an outdoor press conference with microphones
–ENGAGED as in, “The active shooter, wearing tactical gear was engaged and neutralized.”
–BEARCAT as in armored cop car used to engage and neutralize active shooters
–SHELTER IN PLACE as in, “stay inside and hide.”
–DRONE as in remote controlled death from thousands of miles away: Video game
You can add to the list, but the GUARDIAN finds it disturbing that most readers and viewers of today’s news hear these words daily and understand perfectly what they mean. That wasn’t the case as little as 15 years ago.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Foothills Rider
    Dec 3, 2015, 2:52 pm

    * Active Shooter Training/Drill
    * Mass-Casualty Incident (MCI)

  2. Person of interest when you don’t have the grit to say “suspect”

  3. Obama Hates America, and you too
    Dec 3, 2015, 4:18 pm

    Obviously this problem will be solved by FLOODING the country with millions of America-hating young men fleeing war zones around the world, and from the Mexican drug wars.

    I hope the Obama voters realize what you’ve done. I hope every American can see this sabotage and insecurity is intentionally. Obama is a muslim taking his orders from foreign leaders and foreign money.

    Obama’s good friends: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/17/us-group-cair-added-to-terror-list-by-united-arab-emirates/

  4. How about the “new”-ish (since the Bush administration) use of the word “terror”, as in “terror attack”? Once, that would simply have been a misnomer for a panic attack…now, “terror” is interchangeable, or has fully replaced, the word “terrorist”. (That still bothers me. A TERRORIST is one who causes fear; TERROR is the emotion!)

  5. Bomb Shelter
    Civil Defense
    Mushroom Cloud
    Mutually Assured Destruction
    Nuclear Winter
    and more

    Duck and cover drills are replaced by Run, Hide, Fight drills.

    Be scare of criminals or be scared of cops.

    Same thing, different generation, different ‘vocabulary’.

  6. IdahoCrystal
    Dec 3, 2015, 4:45 pm

    Here’s some other words/things we didn’t have 20 years ago:
    Blogs Tesla Skype CDs GPS Computer chips Smart cards Memory cards Digital Cameras Digital music/video Laptops / Tablets Touch screens WiFi Computer processors Google Maps Email
    Cloud computing i-pods i-phones Facebook YouTube Wikipedia Netflix DVD/DVR LEDs Hybrids Sustainability Cordless Every and anything made with recycled plastic
    Fleece (Not wool) Smart wool Apps (App Developer is a brand new career path)
    3-D printers 3-D TVs
    Our world is getting faster and smaller but we still have to adapt or perish.

    EDITOR NOTE–A little off topic. The words we listed pertain only to shooting and terrorist situations. We will still post it, but ask others to stay on the words brought about by the terror-type events.

  7. Easterner, you brought back some fond (?) memories of days gone by! I can remember as a kid, going with my dad to a lumber yard on S. 3rd Street (near where the Ada Courthouse is nowadays), and while he went in to get his boards, I climbed into the self-contained bomb shelter. It was made of a BIG iron pipe, probably 12 feet in diameter and 25 feet long. It was all ready to dig a hole and bury in your back yard.

    Thankfully for most of us and for our offspring, most of those terms you listed remained somewhat nebulous and abstract, rather than the words we used to describe the reality of our society. (And thankfully, at least for now, the RADICALIZED element doesn’t have the ability to trigger the big stuff of the Cold War.)

  8. False flag event: covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them

    Agent Provocateur: (French for “inciting agent”) is a person who commits, or who acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act. An agent provocateur may be acting out of their own sense of duty or may be employed by the police or other entity to discredit or harm another group (e.g. a peaceful protest or demonstration) by provoking them to commit a crime – thus, undermining the protest or demonstration as a whole.

    1984: dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in the province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation.

  9. Gun Free Zone: a place where our most vulnerable citizens gather that is nearly guaranteed to not have any protection from mass shooters. It is a target rich environment where killers have several minutes to kill as many people as they can before police arrive.

    Potential Domestic Terrorist: American Citizens

    Assault Rifle:
    It must be an individual weapon;
    It must be capable of selective fire, which means it has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire.
    It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle;
    Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine;
    And it should at least have an effective range of 330 yards.

  10. Don’t forget




    Daesh or Deash (depending on your source)

  11. Before you cheer on the ‘war on terrorism’, here are a few interesting definitions….

    “…Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected an amendment to the ObamaCare repeal bill that would have tied it to a separate fight on blocking SUSPECTED or known TERRORISTS from being able to buy guns…”


    Th USA govt considers you a SUSPECTED/ potential TERRORIST if any of the following apply…

    You are a conservative.
    You own guns and ammo.
    You are against abortion.
    You are anti-immigrant.
    You have more than seven days of food.
    You talk about individual liberties.
    You are opposed to agenda 21.
    You fear the government is trying to take guns and ammo from the people.
    …64 more types defined in the link below…


    “…authorizing the indefinite military detention of persons the government SUSPECTS of involvement in terrorism, including U.S. citizens arrested on American soil…”


  12. Yossarian_22
    Dec 4, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Lots of good stuff here.

    I’ll add:

    RETAIL TERRORISM- Terror attacks by groups, individuals with political goals as an end to the means. (Hamas, IRA, PLFP et al)

    WHOLESALE TERRORISM- State terrorism that seeks to alter political outcome by means of targeting whole populations. (Cold War MAD, IDFvs Gaza, Proxy Wars by superpowers via peripheral nations like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, VieteNam et al)

  13. The media,internet and general levels of distrust have made us all a bit more callous. We have a federal govt. that gets nothing done due to the levels of distrust they have with the other “guy”.

    I don’t remember this being the case when I was a lad in the 50’s and 60’s. It all may have started with the Vietnam War, the Nixon Enemy list and other issues of that era. It exposed a level of animosity that never existed at the surface of our government.

  14. So, how has all of the “DIVERSITY” stuff worked out for us?

    If you were a botanist, how would you deal with extremely noxious weeds??

  15. Good point here. You’d almost think there’s an agenda driving all of this mayhem.

  16. How about “Willful Blindness”?

    Or, is it “Willful Intention”?

    To listen to Obama, Hillary, Kerry, and other Liberal dolts prattling about terror, Muslim fundamentalism, and such, is agonizing torture!!

  17. Flyhead, did you forget about the terrorism of the 60s and high-profile assassinations?

    The growth of conspiracy theories and government mistrust – Hello, Warren Commission.

    Much before my time but history shows
    -in 1919 A series of package bombs were mailed to prominent business and government leaders around the country.
    Most were intercepted and did not go off, with only one person killed. The suspected culprits were followers of an Italian anarchist (terrorist) Luigi Galleanist – AN IMMIGRANT.

    -1920 Wall Street bombing: A horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives was detonated in front of the J. P. Morgan bank on Wall Street, killing 38 and wounding 143. Galleanist anarchists were again suspected.

    -May 31, 1921: During the Tulsa race riot, there were reports that whites dropped dynamite from airplanes onto a black neighborhood in Tulsa known as the Black Wall Street. The riot killed 39–300 people and destroyed more than 1,100 homes and hundreds of businesses- Sounds a LOT like Syria helo bombs.

    -May 18, 1927: The Bath School bombing in Michigan killed 38 children and 7 adults and injured 58. A man’s wife was ill with TB, extremely upset about his increasing taxes while his house was going into foreclosure, he lost a reelection for School Board (known as a difficult penny-pincher on the board) so he blew up the school!

    I’m sure there examples in the 19th Century too; Terrorism is nothing new.

    Same thing, different generation, different vocabulary.

  18. FUN-SIZED TERRORISTS: US Air Force drone pilots term for killing children.

  19. You might want to rethink you definition of heroes there BG. Two out of the three I agree with, but the first one is probably more closely identified as the threat to the community rather than a hero

  20. Found on Wiki
    Dec 5, 2015, 12:37 pm

    My grandfather taught me to beware of someone selling a product or service I did not need. He said “some of those folks will lie or manipulate to make a profit”.

    So, I disagree Editor. We need to know all of these terms and then some. For it is our tax money causing much of the problem we suffer.

    We The People have been funding little skirmishes and regional conflicts all over the word for decades. We’ve enraged most of the world’s population during this time.

    President Eisenhower warned of such meddling and it’s dire consequence for America in one of his last Presidential addresses.

    What we are now suffering is the end result of war for profit. Due to mission creep, the monster we fund no longer cares about our safety.

    In addition to all those listed above by others:

    ***Director of National Intelligence***

    -The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

    -Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

    -Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)

    -Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)

    -Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)

    -Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

    -Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)

    -Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

    -Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

    -National Security Agency (NSA)

    -Central Security Service (CSS)

    -National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

    -National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

    -Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF), National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC)

    -United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC)

    -Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)

    -Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)

    -Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Branch (FBI/NSB)

    -Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI)

    Keep in mind this is only a public list. There are many others in the dark. And all nations have a simmilar assembly of problem children making a mess of the world.

  21. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 5, 2015, 5:53 pm

    Here’s a fast and easy way to compile a database of wackos:

    Comments Section

    EDITOR NOTE–C’mon Rod. You have posted 178 comments and there are only a couple of folks who consider YOU a wacko. 🙂

  22. Operation Northwoods: proposed operation against the Cuban government, that originated within the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) or other US government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The proposals were rejected by the Kennedy administration.[2]

    Although part of the US government’s anti-communist Cuban Project, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. According to currently released documentation, none of the operations became active under the auspices of the Operation Northwoods proposals.


  23. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 6, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Thanks, guardian, for letting my comment go public.

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