The war. You know. THE war. When someone refers to "the war" in conversation, which one do you think they mean?
That question came to me a couple of months ago when I was on a plane, and the guy in front of me mentioned something about "the war" to the young man next to him. Now, the guy that brought up "the war" in the first place wasn't old enough to have fought in "the war," but we all knew good and well which "war" he was talking about.
The Big One. WW2. World War II.
I really pondered why it was that I assumed the war that was being discussed was "the" war. I was too young for it, too, so why would I think that? Is it a cultural thing? Have we seen so many movies and TV shows about this war of the "greatest generation," that it is the primo war that comes to mind? And does everybody think that, or is it just me? I mean, if I say "back during the war" to a 20-something person (not in the context of current events), will that person also jump to the conclusion that I'm talking about World War II?
Well, I have conducted my own little test, asking various young'uns in their 20's and 30's about "the war." Know what? Everyone of them looks at me like I'm crazy and says "World War II, of course." Even if they don't know jack-poo about what took place over 60 years ago. Hmmm.
So there. That's it. We need another name for armed conflict because "the war" means World War II. At least for another 100 years or so.
The new Ken Burns (of The Civil War fame) series on WWII starts in a few minutes, so let's see what he has to show us about . . . The War.