Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Annoying Euphemism Of The Decade: "Binge Drinking"

Everyone's heard of the term "binge drinking", usually used in news articles about how this trend is "rapidly growing" in terms bordering on shock and amazement. I saw the term used in 3 separate articles yesterday, each acting as if it's a brand new ill plaguing society.

I'm sorry, but I went to college during the 80s, and I can certainly say that there was quite a high prevalence of "binge drinking" back then -- except we didn't call it "binging", we called it "drinking to get drunk", or just "drinking". I was also in the military in the 80s and 90s, and I can assure you that "binge drinking" was quite popular before the GWOT.

I have to wonder if the journalists who participate in this kind of writing realize how ridiculous they're sounding as they talk about the "new dangers of binge drinking", or if they just had really sheltered lives growing up.

What "politically correct" euphemisms annoy you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go back a few years more than you, and as far back as the 60's it happened. My Dad tells me it went on back in the 40's.
All political correctness is wrong. It is offensive to call bad things by nice names. Doing so only makes it acceptable for bad things to be done.
the Duke of Earl

8/13/2008 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's shocking that today's Navy leadership is attempting to change thousands of years of seafaring tradition by limiting drinking. Perhaps they should instead concentrate on avoiding stupid actions like drinking and driving while accepting the fact that sailors, even those who haven't spent twenty-one years on the earth, will always drink like they always have.

8/13/2008 4:23 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I believe there is a lot of drinking in the submarine service off boat. The submarine service has always had a very difficult time with alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Does the submarine force still have problems with alcohol abuse?

There was always a high incidence of divorce and alcoholism in the sub fleet. I think the fractured and disconnection of disappearing from the face of the planet leads to these kind of problems.

I severely abused alcohol in the Navy...I stopped drinking about 6 months before I got out of the service. I knew how to drink before I got in...I was already in trouble with that...but the fractured painful life of a submariner lead me to drink a lot more.

8/13/2008 6:16 PM

Blogger richard said...

Ahhh, this post brings back memories of CAC Level 1, the class you were required to go to when you reported to a new command in Pearl. This was Basic AA 101.

I fondly remember the civilian instructor posing the question "Why to sailors drink" there was a smattering of "Stress" "Noting else to do" and "Peer Pressure" answers, but the one that sticks out most is one E-5 confidently blurted out "Competition".

Needless to say, he was an instant hero with the troops, and not well liked by our instructor!

Oh well, submarines once, submarines twice!

8/13/2008 6:50 PM

Blogger Mark said...

Hahaha the DAPA at NNPS just gave the most comical brief about drinking. Also Tylenol is no longer Navy-legal.

8/13/2008 7:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What "politically correct" euphemisms annoy you?"

"Hate Crime". What does that even mean?

8/13/2008 8:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What "politically correct" euphemisms annoy you?"

Claims that Obama has a clue.

8/14/2008 5:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how this posting follows "New Sub Gets New Beer." That's awesome.


8/14/2008 6:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many hated pc terms to list. What I really hate is young, ignorant, sheltered and lazy journalists who don't bother to fact check and or do a Google or Lexis-Nexis search to see that these 'new' trends are just the same things that have been happening for years.

8/14/2008 8:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the Navy in the 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s and we worked hard and played hard. A sad thing was that when I was a Senior Chief in the 90’s, I had to counsel and bust young sailors for doing what was acceptable in the 70’s. I tried to go easy on them and use common sense but sometimes the rules got in the way.
After coming back from partying in Bremerton, we took a crane for a ride, we took a row boat over to the Gurnard and painted the rudder and found that you could shoot a grapefruit out of the 3” launcher. I’ve done some things that I’m not to proud of but there aren’t to many of them that I wouldn’t do again. However, with me, underway, it never happened.
As for : "What "politically correct" euphemisms annoy you?"
Global Warming
Right Sizing
Socially Challanged
Blaming a bad childhood on ones actions.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa.

8/14/2008 8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the SYNERGY of CDR Salamander's banner:

"Proactively “From the Sea”; leveraging the littoral best practices for a paradigm breaking six-sigma business case rightsizing the core values supporting our mission statement via the 5-vector model and the Human Capital Strategy."

We should have known that nothing good could come of forcing MBA business school concepts on a government funded military organization! I still am shocked by the "Navy Reading List"

that encourages our Sailors to read important professional development books like "7 Habits" and "Implementing Diversity." (Digression: Truman did a pretty good job of implementing diversity without the need of a book. He identified the RIGHT THING TO DO and ORDERED the military to FOLLOW ORDERS. No 6-sigma ISO certified quality analysis required!)

Whatever happened to "know yourself, know your job and know your people" in order to "win"?!?!

Granted that there are some pretty good books on the list, but face it: running the military version of Oprah's Book Club isn't a core mission.

Perhaps the force would be better served if our reading list included such books as:

The Nautical Rules of the Road
Seamanship and Navigation
Naval Engineering
etc... etc...

Or, perhaps we could just encourage Sailors to "listen to Chief!" and work hard to keep Chiefs out on the deck plate teaching and doing, instead of encouraging everyone to read feel-good business books!

OK. Phew. Rant complete. Good post Bubblehead.

Time to "sharpen the saw" by reading how Covey can make me a better mariner...

8/14/2008 9:17 AM

Blogger reddog said...

When I was in the Navy, If you were a binge drinker, that meant you didn't have a problem. Since we sometimes went to sea and sobered up, nobody had a problem. It was a simpler and better time.

We had a mandated training day once, when this sensitivity training team came to teach us to "own" our decisions. We jeered and told him since we were sailors, we didn't make any decisions, the Navy made them for us. The trainers got very frustrated until the XO told us to shut up and do as we were told. Then everything went fine.

8/14/2008 10:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The problem drinker is the guy who never buys a round." Anon.

Back in the steam torpedo days drinking gilley with orange/grapefruit juice was routine. Fleet boats had two 30 gallon alcohol tanks in FTR and two 20 gallon tanks in the ATR. We did shoot and recover then make ready and shoot steam fish over and over again so you carried both gilley and HRT oil. Nav finally got smart and recognized more gilley going into the torpedomen than into the torpedoes and put croton oil and red dye in it.

Check-out Pat Barrons story ":Loss of the USS Stickleback SS-415" on Now that was a liberty-run!!

Keep a zero bubble........


8/14/2008 10:52 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

For those of you who work now or have recently in Nuclear Field Training (perhaps more, I retired from NPTU), here's a politically correct catch phrase that makes me want to choke a KCB (even though I guess I was one as well):
"Intrusive Leadership".

When I had to order my enlisted staff instructors to go to my enlisted student's personal houses and inspect them, I was convinced we had gone right around the bend. Where does it end? Of course, the student could in fact tell you to pack sand, but how many freshly minted ET/EM/MM3's are going to tell their ET/EM/MM1 or Chief no? I went OUT OF MY WAY to convince my students to deny me and my staff access to their homes, for two reasons: 1) The staff had enough to do just trying to get these knuckleheads qualified and 2) A sailor's home is his castle, and I nor any other "senior" sailor has no right intruding upon his privacy. How can you hold someone accountable if you won't trust them?

8/14/2008 11:20 AM

Blogger Submaster said...

I hate Global Warming!! I think sometimes, if I hear it one more time, I will go on a 3 state killing spree.

NO evidence of MAN-MADE global warming...PERIOD. It seems all of the world's ills can be traced and/or blamed on Global Warming.


8/14/2008 11:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole thing is a product of what I call the "CNN factor". Even the slightest hic-cup can ricochet around the world as our cross-section for political correctness has increased by several orders of magnitude over years past.
The only safe haven is entered shortly after "Dive, Dive, Dive" but even that comes to an end.
Dolphin 47

8/14/2008 2:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


brutal murder - as opposed to a kind one?

transparent government - what the hell does that mean?

culturally appropriate – I’ve always preferred the inappropriate

It is adjective ridden world )-:

RO 70-80

8/14/2008 3:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the definition of binge drinking: "8 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours." That's one shot every fifteen minutes. That's a slow night on deployment for most guys. And, 4 drinks for girls, crap, I remember a girl back in A School who got in a drinking contest with every guy in the class and drank everyone of them under table (Ever see a chick double fist pitchers? I have) The whole reason people think this is a big deal is because stupid college kids who've never drunk before go out, get hammered, then wander off alone and drown in their own vomit after passing out. At least in the navy we go out with buddies.

As for euphemisms I hate:

"undocumented immigrants" my ass that's called illegal.

"insert country here-American" You never hear about an African-English, or a Chinese-African. If you want to be an American, rock on, stay just American.

8/14/2008 6:23 PM

Blogger saraeanderson said...

I don't see how this is a euphemism, in fact I would call it an overstatement, which I think is sort of the opposite of a euphemism. Perhaps you're thinking "buzzword." Media fits over made-up or isolated phenomena aren't a new thing. (That's not to say I think that people drinking large amounts of alcohol is fiction. I've been one of those people on many an occasion.) anonymous above is demonstrating exactly why I roll my eyes when people talk about "political correctness." I see very little consensus on what it actually is, besides avoiding being a jerk. Avoiding using words that have been used to mock marginalized people is really just polite, and plain ol' decency.

If you think that "African-American is simply a euphemism for the n-word, you're being a jerk. It doesn't sugar-coat anything.

8/14/2008 6:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an evolutionist, I feel that we here in America can all be classified as; African-American. Binge-drinking......... I don't remember ever binge-drinking while in the Navy. Of course I don't remember there being an '80s either. MissS**tcanAganger

8/14/2008 6:49 PM

Blogger gym said...


I had a mole removed the other day, now I'm a freak'n baby killer.

How about pro-mind your own damn business?

I know I'm tilting a little left here boys, but damn it burns my butt.

On another note: Have you ever got into the right rack, in the right berthing, on the wrong ship?

Man is that embarrassing.

8/14/2008 10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Gym, in reviewing your blog profile, I can't say that I'm surprised by your comments. I'd say you've drifted left and are walking a little light in your loafers.

8/15/2008 6:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's mostly because of the news organization trying to make things sound more exciting, or more important, or more devastating that it is. No kidding, the other night on TV, the news covered as story about a storm that went through and it damaged "nearly eight homes." Nearly eight? Isn't that seven?


8/15/2008 6:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

man I miss the EM log...

8/15/2008 7:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned today, that to further combat the drinking problem in the Navy, the overseas NEX's will be required, effective 9/1/08, to purchase alcohol from local distributors instead of bringing it in themselves.

Mind you, I thought it was a bit odd the first time I went to the NEX in Yokosuka and found that a 6 pack of any beer cost less than a 12 pack of cokes. I will also not be personally put into the poor house by this policy (while in homeport stateside, I think I've bought at least 90% of my beer in town, because it was cheaper than or comparable to the NEX prices, even in Pearl), but it seems a backasswards solution to the perceived problem. If you want it to cost more, grow a pair and raise the prices (not that it will have any real impact anyway). Now the beer selection overseas will be limited to what is sold outside the gate. I've become a beer snob (Life is too short to drink crappy beer), so this is going to annoy me in Guam, based on what I've seen of the local selection. I see a future of crappy American Canned Barley Water....

The other problem I see is that I cannot imagine that this is really going to have a significant impact on the drinking habits of the average junior Sailor; smokes are at prices that I would think would stop anyone from smoking, but there seems to be quite a crowd at the smoke pit. And the same Sailors are already hitting the bars in town for $6 (an up) beers ($4.99 for Sam Adams and $6.99 for VB 6 packs at the NEX today), since the Navy's Guam policy is 21 and up to buy/possess beer on base and the drinking age is 18 in town. The USAF still lets their Airmen drink on-base at 18.....Go Navy?

Just my thoughts.

Grumpy Old LDO

8/15/2008 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grumpy old LDO; There's been an issue in the past with NEX liquor sales and local taxes. Since all NEX purchases are free of local taxes, the local gov't would squeal about the lost tax revenue and the local stores about lost business so the compromise was for NEXs to charge comparable prices as in town. I think it's more likely that it's $$ driving the switch as the NEX is relenting to appease the local gov'ts. There is a possible linkage to the alcohol policy because, at least in my day, the ADM in charge of the drug and alcohol policy is also in charge of MWR and is, therefore, on the NEX BOD.

8/15/2008 11:23 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

"Navy strategy/ ship building strategy"

Report: Shipbuilding in ‘serious disarray’

By Philip Ewing - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Aug 15, 2008 16:32:41 EDT

Navy shipbuilding is in “serious disarray” because top commanders have pursued an acquisition plan that has little to do with actual requirements or strategy, according to an early August report from a Washington think tank.

8/15/2008 7:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one that drives me nuts is "Hate Crime". Is a explanation even necessary? I think not.

8/17/2008 11:18 PM


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