Word of the Day – May 15, 2012

bellicose (adj.)

BE luh kohs

eager to fight; hostile in nature; warlike (“bellicosity” is the noun)

Our permanent enemy is the noted bellicosity of human nature. Man, biologically considered, and whatever else he may be in the bargain, is simply the most formidable of all beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species. We are once for all adapted to the military status. A millennium of peace would not breed the fighting disposition out of our bone and marrow, and a function so ingrained and vital will never consent to die without resistance, and will always find impassioned apologists and idealizers.
William James     December 1904

In 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order revising the Code of Conduct for POWs. What formerly began with “I am an American fighting man” was changed to the gender-neutral and less bellicose “I am an American.”
Charles Mosko     August 1990

… from More Words That Make A Difference

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