Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

23 October 2007

A short lesson

Yesterday I was talking to Pink Guy (my son) about my time in the US Navy's Submarine Service (a.k.a. Uncle Sam's Underwater Yacht Club), and I said something about the "boat" I was on. That raised several questions from him, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to pass along the answers to the world at large.

First, like airplanes and trains, one goes "on" a ship even though the more correct preposition is probably "in". Second, ships are always female, regardless of their name. It is entirely proper to say, "I served on the USS John F. Kennedy and she was a fine ship." Finally, there is a difference between a "ship" and a "boat", although that differentiation is not an objective one. In the Navy, the difference between a ship and a boat is that a boat can be placed on a ship but a ship cannot be placed on a boat. There is, however, one exception to that rule: submarines are always "boats". Each of them may carry more destructive power than all the explosive weapons ever discharged since gunpowder was invented (fact!), but they are still "boats".

Any questions?

  • On 10/23/2007 3:34 PM, Blogger Hammer said…

    I always wondered why subs were called boats. Interesting stuff!

    Thank you for the bird information. Isn't the internet wonderful?

  • On 10/24/2007 8:54 AM, Blogger Howard said…

    No questions other than why did you drag up my old memories of being in the Navy?

    Interestingly enough, I was never on a floating (or diving) device my entire three years in before they kicked me out for one of them there homosex'als.

  • On 10/24/2007 2:52 PM, Blogger soccer mom in denial said…

    I still can't get over that you were inside a sub for months on end. My family's tour of one in the Philly harbor earlier in the year just gave me the shivers.

    And I was on/in for 20 minutes!

  • On 10/25/2007 3:30 PM, Blogger BrentD said…

    Hey, you're the one with the gun- packing boat. Who am I to argue.

  • On 10/26/2007 8:10 AM, Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said…

    Wow, I want you to blog more about your sub experiences. I've never known anyone who's done that.

  • On 10/27/2007 6:34 AM, Blogger DeniseUMLaw said…

    Jen -- check out my old blog and click on the category "sea stories". I share some of my submarine experiences there.

    Jami, did you have to go, like, under water and everything? Wow! Weren't you scared or claustrophobic? ::grin::

  • On 10/27/2007 6:35 AM, Blogger DeniseUMLaw said…

    Oh, Jen, here's the link:

    Jami -- can you make that link actually work? :)


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