27 MARCH 1942, Page 4

No one who notes the new military terms that become

current coin almost overnight, can complain that the English language is incapable of elasticity or expansion. The pace, indeed, is some- times too breakneck. " The Chinese," I read, " are hunting a

single Japanese paratroop." What, in fact, is the quarry--one

little Jap or a bevy of little Japs? The context indicates the former. So where do we get from where? A parachute is an appliance pares--against, chute—a fall. A man who wears one Is a parachutist. A number of soldiers who wear them become, by the fashionable portmanteau process, paratroops. But everY plural must have its singular (a fallacy, actually). Hence park troop (not parachutist, who, so far from being a soldier, migh be a pacifist dropping for amusement). All the same, paratroop be damned--of course, in the S.P.C.E. sense of the word.

* * * *