Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 21:23:39 -0600


Subject: Re: Ground for Floor

"Margaret G. Lee -English" mlee[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CS.HAMPTONU.EDU asks

Has anyone noticed within the last several years that many people refer to the

"ground" when they really mean the


Mark Mandel replied:

A long time ago, at least in some localities. I remember being irritated with

my grandmother when she said it, and she

died maybe fifteen years ago.

I doubt that it's new. I've caught myself saying "It fell to the ground"

upon dropping something inside a house and "It fell to the floor" upon

dropping something outside. What if it fell to the lawn and someone said

it fell to the ground? Would you seriously chide the speaker by asking if

it fell all the way through the grass?

In military parlance, "Hit the deck" can refer to ground, lawn, floor, or

perhaps even rafters in some weird circumstancs. If a parent wants the

kids to get up, s/he might say "Hit the deck" even if the house doesn't

have a deck.