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New phrase with the onset of the Iraqi War

Journalists are now either “embedded with...” or “embedded”. Shouldn’t it be “embedded in a troop?” Not quite sure how this phrase should be used -- it is indeed a terrible replacement for simply saying: “so-and-so is with the 3rd Cavalry division.”

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This doesn't quite answer your "with vs. in" question, but there's an interesting <a href=" in today's Washington Post about the language of war. An excerpt: "Journalists are now 'embedded' with the troops, which suggests an almost sexual level of media-military involvement. Although the media operate under many of the same restrictions as before, 'embedding' conveys closeness and cooperation. In any event, it's really no different from the olden days, when reporters were merely 'assigned' to travel with troops."

jeff March 26, 2003, 11:52am

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Oops, I guess this system doesn't accept HTML linking in the comments. The article I reference is here:

jeff March 26, 2003, 11:54am

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My understanding of the term "embedded with" is that the state of being an "embedded journalist" is different from other types of journalists who don't have the same rights/opportunities as the embedded ones do. So, being an "embedded journalist with" such and such a company describes the journalist's status more than it does the place where the embedding occurs. Huh?

eddeluzain March 28, 2003, 8:28am

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Hmm, and I thought it was "inbedwith".

normjenson April 4, 2003, 7:12pm

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I think that "with" is used because it sounds more personable than "in". Logically this would be incorrect. When something is embedded it is always embedded IN something. i.e. If an arrow is shot into a tree it is embedded IN the tree, not embedded with the tree. If I use "with" with embedded, (A is embedded with B) then I would take it to mean A and B are embedded in something. Obviously this is not what they mean when they talk about journalists embedded with troops, it just sounds funny to say a person is embedded in a group of people. Personally I think that embedded was a dumb word to use. Look it up in the dictionary:

In regaurds to the Post artical, the word "embedded" has nothing to do with "in bed" it just means to be fixed into something.

IngisKahn April 29, 2003, 5:26pm

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'"Journalists are now 'embedded' with the troops, which suggests an almost sexual level of media-military involvement.'

ROFL Jeff.

The definition of the phrase 'embedded journalist' is 'political bullshit'. In other words, this is both an obstruction of the truth and the Bush administration is demonstrating its inadequate grasp of its native language.

The rule of thumb when interpreting political language is that political language is not intended to be understood. Politicians and those who work for them lie and obscure the truth in order to be re-elected. If you do not understand politicians you are in the majority.

M Stevenson April 10, 2004, 11:47pm

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