The OED is my authoritative source on the English language; some look instead to Merriam-Webster's. There has been some discussion recently in the blogsphere about putting the Ism back in Terrorism. When did it leave? Certainly Bush doesn't deserve the influence he has on the languagewe use, and it does seem that we used to talk about Terrorism and now we hear about Terror, and the "war" thereon. But does this usage have a deeper history?


4 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands


1946 KOESTLER Thieves in Night 243 While the usual *terror acts continued, the Jewish representative bodies issued their usual protests.
1941 Reader's Digest June 58/2 It must be remembered that this government today is Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler and a few others{em}men who..ordered the *terror bombing of Rotterdam last summer and of London last winter. 1945 Time 26 Feb. 32/1 Terror bombing of German cities was deliberate military policy. 1959 R. COLLIER City that wouldn't Die ii. 27 To Sperrle the primary consideration was always that the pilot should see his target;..a Nuremberg tribunal absolved him of terror bombing.

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