Oh, you just KNOW you are running out of blog post ideas when you decide to write about a random wikipedia article. This week's article will be about Jiffs.
This is apparently a perjorative term used by the British Intelligence toward the Indian National Army. I'm not sure why sides in a battle always decide to think of slang terms to 'put down' the enemy. It's not like the other side cares. It doesn't affect their ability or willingness to kill you with whatever weapon that their government has trained them in. It's a little like throwing marshmallows at the State Puff Marshmallow Man. I mean, it's kinda, oddly ironic and everything, but the Marshmallow Man doesn't really care.
And isn't there that whole spiel about sticks and stones? I mean, it's one thing to use names and words that have been taboo in your community and society for generations. I can understand (even if it is still, on an intellectual level, absurd) how one might get riled up about that. But someone who's job it is to kill you, calling you a name they had just made up? It kinda takes away the sting.
Some might point out that it's a way of dehumanizing the enemy. Of putting a false face on the other teenagers who are about to riddle your body with inconvenient holes unless you do the same thing to them first. I mean, you certainly wouldn't want to start calling them by their real names. "Oh yeah, I sure shot Hector up good there. Good and dead. And Johnny too, plugged him before he did that military objective thing that his high command -- that has never met him -- just ordered him to do." Yeah, I can see how that might be a bit creepifying.
That just might be an interesting defensive strategy. Give all your soldiers clearly defined named tags with a few factoids. So when they die, the enemy has to read out their name, and perhaps the fact that Mark here really liked the Rolling Stones but nothing from the Steel Wheels tour.
Man, that would sow all sorts of conscience within an army.