Citizendium - a community developing a quality, comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free.
Click here to join and contribute
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report

Talk:Fratricide (military)

From Citizendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
To learn how to update the categories for this article, see here. To update categories, edit the metadata template.
 Definition The killing of one's brother, but in a military context, the killing of one's own forces ("friendly fire"). [d] [e]
Checklist and Archives
 Workgroup category Military [Please add or review categories]
 Subgroup category:  Military information and communications
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

Since "fratricide" has a non-military meaning going back to Cain & Abel, I think this article should be moved to friendly fire, which I thought was the usual term anyway. Then create a disambig page for fratricide. Sandy Harris 03:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

In a non-Constable role, I agree 100% -- in the States "fratricide" means one thing, "friendly fire" means another. Hayford Peirce 04:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
First, I don't think you'll find a serious military writer using "friendly fire." One of the first Murphy's Laws of Combat is "friendly fire isn't.":
How often does one see parricide, matricide, etc., in common usage? Howard C. Berkowitz 04:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Howard, I dunno what your point is. What *I'm* saying is that the New York Times, which is my basic point of reference, does NOT use the word Fratricide for military casualties. I don't care what you, Charles deGaulle, Douglas MacArthur, and Georgie Patton call it, I'm just trying to clarify what it should be called in a general article for readers who are not enrolled at the West Point War College. Now I'm going to bed, and I'm not gonna argue about it any longer. You're the Military Editor, call it anything you like, even if 99% of the readers won't know what you're talking about. Hayford Peirce 04:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I know Google is not the best way to measure anything, but it is easy and does provide data. With a search restricted to only .mil sites, "friendly fire" gets 30,000 hits vs 6,220 for "fratricide". Searching the whole web, it is 52.5 million for "friendly fire" vs 1.1 million for fratricide, by no means all of which are the military meaning. Sandy Harris 04:38, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Howard, you're just plain wrong about this and I'm baffled why you persist

Today's NYT has an article called Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case at "One%20was%20a%20football%20hero%20who%20roused"&st=cse in which direct quotations are taken from General MyChrystal, the 3-star general in Afghanistan, about the death of Pat Tillman. He *always* uses the term "friendly fire". He *never* uses the term "fratricide". Why do you persist in insisting that this whole article should be called "Fratricide" in the face of all evidence that this is not a term used outside of the Cain and Abel mix-up and in the American military? Hayford Peirce 04:05, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps not outside militaries; not merely the U.S. military. I have given a redirect for friendly fire to fratricide.
In professional military literature, which I do consider authoritative as a Military editor, there is a widespread belief that the term "friendly fire" is a near-obscenity, and certainly misleading. That a general uses it to the press can't be stopped. I am willing to elaborate, in the article, on why the term is considered so misleading. Offhand, I can think of British, Canadian, and NATO papers on avoiding "fratricide".
The term "fratricide", incidentally, is broader than the press uses for "friendly fire", in the sense of firing on one's own troops. It applies in a number of weapons interactions, such as schemes both for protecting ICBM fields ("dense pack") and targeting rules that prevent interference among weapons. Fratricide is a subset of deconfliction.
Hayford, it is one thing to argue about usages like Gettysburg, Battle of, and Battle of Gettysburg. That's structural. Fratricide vs. friendly fire is content; friendly fire has misleading associations. I don't think Georgie Patton used either term, but instead used "mistake". Some of the earliest usage of which I'm aware is from Vietnam, where a NYT reporter wrote a book entitled "Friendly Fire", about an incident in which he interviewed some future generals such as Schwarzkopf.
I'm simply not going to use media buzzwords as other than redirects. To use the media-preferred term, or the term to which the media condition public statements, is inconsistent with the goal of accuracy. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:39, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I understand everything you're saying, Howard, but disagree about whether it's structural or not. I absolutely do *not* disagree with the content of the article -- that's structural, and *you're* the relevant editor there. I disagree with the *title* of the article, just as I disagreed with Herr Doktor von un zu Professor Jensen about *his* titles. Let's suppose that I were actually a professor of literature somewhere and was therefore a Literature Editor. And, like Prof. Cohen did with the Philosophy categories, came by and checked off Literature or some other marginal category that encompasses words. I would then get on my high horse and declare: I am a professor of literature and the competent and relevant Editor when it comes to word usage, and I hereby declare that the title of this article is "Friendly fire" and not "Fratricide." So then where would we be? Waiting for Larry (and Godot) to make an EiC decision, I suppose.... Hayford Peirce 17:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
The term "fratricide" very clearly, first and foremost, refers to the killing of one's brother. If militaries use the term to designate something else, then the military usage deserves an article at Fratricide (military) but it should not dominate the main fratricide article. I'm going to commit wikiusercide pretty soon if we get into too many more disputes about infanticide, fratricide, ... --Joe Quick 17:33, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm willing to disambiguate and make this fratricide (military), but, then, it's only fair that the objectors create a fratricide (family) article at the same time. Being an only child, I never had the opportunity. Aunticide and unclecide were, however, considered.
Have you considered that Godot might have been delayed by the French Army? Howard C. Berkowitz 17:38, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Joe, and I *meant* to put the same suggestion (order, diktat, command) in my above comment: Move the present article to Fratricide (military), and then do the appropriate redirects. I will, from the fullness of my heart, actually do the Move for you. And I'll do a couple of redirects. And I *might* write a 50-word stub about the *real* meaning of Fratricide.... Hayford Peirce 17:49, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
"'s only fair that the objectors create a fratricide (family) article at the same time." Dang! I knew being the only active anthropology guy around here would get me into trouble. I'll write fifty words if Hayford writes fifty words first. :-) --Joe Quick 18:02, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Sure, it's a deal! (I'll just copy the first 50 words from my 1940 edition of the EB -- if they have an article on it....) Hayford Peirce 18:26, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
The punchline of a non-family-friendly shaggy dog comes to mind: "everyone knows where it is but no one goes there." I'm simply trying to remember the last time I heard someone refer to fratricide in other than the military context, and can't think of one. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:59, 27 May 2009(UTC)
How about fratricidal, the adjective? It's *always* being used in political harangues and articles. Hayford Peirce 21:13, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I tend to think of "cannibalistic" as more applicable there. Of course, in some politicians, "incestuous" may apply.
Your example, suh, is a bizarre twist on the usual assumption that war indicates the failure of politics. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:22, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)I don't think it matters much which of "friendly fire" and "fratricide (military)" redirects to the other; Howard has it the opposite way to what I would and WP does, but I'll defer to his expertise there. WP gives an additional term, "Blue on blue", which they say NATO uses, and have that as a redirect as well. We may need to add that.

I'd prefer Fratricide as an article about the murder of a brother, with a comment on and link to the military usage. I think that makes better sense than a disambig with the original (and I'd say still the primary) meaning of the term at "fratricide (family)". Sandy Harris 23:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm willing to go along with fratricide as a disambiguation to family and military. Had there been an article in existence on the familial usage, there would be a much better argument. Since this isn't the first time I've started an article where there was nothing related as far as content, and then gotten an argument about the name without creation of the other content, I think I'm adopting a rule for myself: if I create an article, and there's an immediate argument about the name or spelling without any additional content creation, I will simply leave the field to whoever cares about the article title. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:51, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I was just about to Move this article to Fratricide (military) and then create a new article called "Fratricide" with the standard old-fashioned definition as well as a couple of examples such as Cain and Abel and Hamlet's father and uncle. Or, alternatively, we (I, you, someone) create a disamb. page to which a query for "Fratricide" goes, where the reader can find a list of possibilities with both, say, (military) and, oh, (historical), or (traditional), or (family), or some such. I haven't been able to make up my mind on this -- what do other people think about this?
And, Howard, no one is questioning either your article or your credentials for writing it -- what's so wrong with other people, with other perspectives, questioning a title? Isn't this supposed to be a collaborative project? And, geez, there are only about 11,000 articles in all of CZ right now -- it's pretty easy to write an article to which its disambig. twin doesn't yet exist! Hayford Peirce 00:04, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Call it emotional, but I regard the project as first about content. This is not the first time when I've created content, and not gotten any collaborative help that added to the content, but instead argued about the name -- redirects and disambiguation not being good enough. When there's a difference about "most used", I believe the only fair solution is to create a disambiguation page and/or redirects. I have stopped working on Party of God, a correct English name, because others wanted to argue about whether Hizbollah, Hezb'Allah, Hezballah, etc., was the "most used" transliteration from Arabic. This sort of argument goes below my noise threshold; I realized I simply don't want to invest time in it. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:09, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's do a "Suppose If" -- Suppose I start writing an article about "Richard Burton was a well-known Victorian explorer, scholar, etc." and I get a couple of hundred words into it. Then Matt comes along and says, "No, no, no, old chap, that's crazy, Richard Burton is the actor who was married to Liz Taylor. You're gonna have to change the name of *your* article to Richard Burton (Victorian explorer)." Then *you* come along, Howard, and say, "Don't forget that there's a *golfer* named Richard Burton! Whaddya gonna do about him?" Well, at some point we'd all get together, decide if one of them was famous enough to deserve the honor of having an article called simply Richard Burton, or if we should have a disambig. page reference for *all* of them, or what? Eventually we'd work something out and we'd all go about our business. And I would keep writing my article about that Victorian explorer -- or, if any of you others cared to contribute to it, *we* would keep writing it. But I certainly wouldn't stop writing it simply because the name of the article got changed! What possible difference does that make as long as it can be found by redirects? As A.E. van Vogt or Aristotle or Count So-and-So, the General Semantics guy, was always saying, "The map is not the territory." Hayford Peirce 01:46, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Suppose if Matt came along and said "hmmm...there's another Richard Burton (actor). No article about him. Well, let me start one, so there's some evidence that the ambiguity isn't just a curiosity. At that point, Matt would have every reason to say Howard, move your article to "victorian explorer", and we will create a disambiguation page. Everyone wins.
But when I'm busily writing about what, in English, is the Party of God, it was not a useful event to have to stop writing because I happened to start it as Hezballah, fully intending to have redirects to half a dozen transliterations of Hezb'Allah. In this case, I see no point to arguing about the "best" fratricide. It does strike me as a reasonable courtesy to say "OK, this is ambiguous. the topic is important enough that I've started an article about the Cain and Abel version. Because it's ambiguous, we disambiguate, not go off into arguments about what version has precedence."
That didn't happen here. Instead, it was "defend my naming", which meant stopping writing, oh, how mismatched coordinate systems kill people. I would have had little problem with a suggestion to move the article to fratricide (military). Instead, I got an argument how a legitimately chosen term was wrong, and how I needed to change to avoid an ambiguity with something that didn't yet exist.
No thanks. Earlier today, I was going to start writing about a thing-that-makes-holes, and then realized "drill" was ambiguous, so I created the disambiguation first. I don't use "fratricide (family)" in my own speech. It didn't even occur to me that is a word in common usage. So, if all I'm going to hear is how my choice is wrong, with no content contributions either to the meaning I was using or an article created on another meaning. I have better things to do than argue about the name. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:39, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
INSERT EXPLETIVE! Please, can we stop arguing about arguing and just write the **** material? I was out for most of the day but did at least start a stub about taboos, which refers to fratricide. I'll start a stub on the murder of one's sibling too, but I need until tomorrow. I challenge anyone else to beat me to it. --Joe Quick 02:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Taboo? My mother's favorite perfume, a movie... There are now 30 or 40 links to the earlier term that would have to be fixed. As I say, no thanks. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Nyah, nyah, beat ya to it, Joe! But you can add as much as you like. Particularly where I typed in XXX, for the number of years since this secondary meaning came along. Hayford Peirce 03:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)I think I got all of the links that needed updating. --Joe Quick 18:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)