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Ex-squaddie (1 Viewer)

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Olly Buckle

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I'm stuck, I have an ex-soldier, British, using the phrase "When I was in the ..."

I am sure he wouldn't say 'The army', he's not an officer. At first I thought 'The mob', but then I think that is air-force, not army.

Anybody got any suggestions?
 

Xander416

Senior Member
After two seasons of Ultimate Force, I don't think I've heard any such slang terms for the army. Closest I can think of is "the regiment," but I think that refers specifically to 22 SAS.
 

Olly Buckle

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After two seasons of Ultimate Force, I don't think I've heard any such slang terms for the army. Closest I can think of is "the regiment," but I think that refers specifically to 22 SAS.

Never watched it.
Yes, there are specific ones, like the paras, but I didn't want to tie it down. Do you think "When I was in the forces" works?
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
If the character was a soldier in the British Army, why wouldn't he say he served in the Army, officer or not? One thing I noticed, British soldiers often refer to the regiment they served.

"Sergeant Collins, of the Queen's Dragoon Guards, sir!"

But, I'm American. Maybe I'm missing something.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
He’d say ‘army’ - tho 20 years ago you would be more cautious - and say ‘government’ - depends on context.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
It depends on the period and the mood you are trying to create. Also on what the context is.

Is it first person, or is he speaking to someone?

And also what is the point he is about to make? If you want a somber feel, you might say, "when I was in the trenches."

INTJ at work here...
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Timbers creaked in the fug of the Kerry Arms. Outside the wind howled.

“When I was in the paratroop regiment...” said Eric Uttertwat.

The barman reached for the telephone. Et cet et ad nauseum, our anecdote fair common..standard.
 

Sam

General
Patron
Never watched it.
Yes, there are specific ones, like the paras, but I didn't want to tie it down. Do you think "When I was in the forces" works?

The Army isn't special forces, so no. UK Army special forces are the SAS, SBS, and SRR.

If he were American, he might say, "I was in the military". It's vague enough to make people understand he served without specifying in what unit.

Also, why would it matter whether he's a solider or an officer? They both call it the Army.

ETA: He might say also that he was in the Armed Forces, which is what I guess you were alluding to, Olly, with 'forces'.
 

Xander416

Senior Member
Never watched it.
British TV show centering on a team of SAS operators. Production values aren't as high as similar American shows like The Unit, SIX, or SEAL Team, but it isn't bad.

Yes, there are specific ones, like the paras, but I didn't want to tie it down. Do you think "When I was in the forces" works?
I suppose it could. It does have a somewhat British air to it. But if you're this unsure, I would just say "army" like Matchu suggested. Everyone in the US military I've known always said basically "I was in the army" or "I was a Marine." No weird slang terms like "mob."

The Army isn't special forces, so no. UK Army special forces are the SAS, SBS, and SRR.

If he were American, he might say, "I was in the military". It's vague enough to make people understand he served without specifying in what unit.

Also, why would it matter whether he's a solider or an officer? They both call it the Army.

ETA: He might say also that he was in the Armed Forces, which is what I guess you were alluding to, Olly, with 'forces'.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was referring to the armed forces as a whole.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Never watched it.
Yes, there are specific ones, like the paras, but I didn't want to tie it down. Do you think "When I was in the forces" works?

'Forces' would be my suggestion too, and it sprang to mind immediately - before I scrolled beyond your first post.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
I really don't think 'the army' would be squaddie talk, the British army is riddled with slang at that level, and I am really sure it is nothing like the American army in terms of the officer/men separation. I'm tempted to make him an ex para. for simplicity, then he can add something like 'Even a bad hat ...', that's a phrase I know is used. It is a fun piece to write because he swings from the formal phrases he uses to talk about some things to slang and chat that he uses for others, and from being an ex hired killer to being a concerned human being, quite difficult to get the balance right.

It will be on YouTube soon when I finish editing, maybe later today. Look out for 'Pull up a sandbag', which I'm considering as the title.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
When I was a mechanic, I used to work with another who used to start sentences with "When I was in the mob..."

"The Regiment" is shorthand for the SAS.
 
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