Guantanamo Bay: Sami Al-Hajj

Is it just me, or is anyone else a little confused as to why the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba is referred to as Gitmo? Shouldn't it be Gutmo, Gatmo or even Gtomo? I woke up this morning with this question on my mind so I have evidently been blogging/subbing too much recently.

Anyway, I can only assume that Gitmo is a play on the word 'git', considering some of the stories that have emerged regarding the treatment of prisoners.

Not wanting to make (too much) light of a serious issue, I'd like to direct you to to the website Prisoner 345. This focuses on the plight of Al Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Hajj (pictured), who is being held as an 'enemy combatant' at Guantanamo and who has been on hunger strike for more than a year now.

He is the only journalist currently 'detained' at Gitmo but that is still one too many, and I find his story shocking.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure people have started to write and call it Gitmo, because its official abbreviation is GTMO. That has been true for decades, so I think it has more to do with the military's love of abbreviations and acronyms than anything else.

JD said...

Indeed yes, but my question was: why Gitmo and not Gutmo, Gatmo or Gtomo? All of these use the letters GTMO...

Gareth said...

Surely because if you try and say "GTMO" as it is, you end up with something that sounds more like Gitmo than any of your other suggestions.

JD said...

Really? I end up with something closer to 'Gutmo' (rhyming with 'put no' rather than 'but no').

Might be just me.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Because - and I don't know why - the short I is the usual vowel used in the US military when one is needed to pronounce an abbreviation. (Not the only one, but the usual one). Thus, for example, the various pieces of EW equipment - TLQ, TRQ, MLQ - are tilky, trick, and milky, though turkey is a variant of the TRQ.

This doesn't answer your real question - why the I and not the schwa - but it does answer why Gitmo. The sounds in the words the abbreviations stand for are rarely taken into account.

JD said...

Thanks, the ridger, fcd, that's enlightening.

Umra said...

This is the Test of our faith and a test also for American Justice.