27 Sep 2012

“Antonov” is NOT a type of airplane

Posted by dumpendebat

If you remember the collapse of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian wars of the 1990s, you may remember that no journalist was able to file an article from the Balkans without mentioning plum brandy (“slivovitz”) at least once per article.

Today’s equivalent of slivovitz in Bosnia seems to be “Antonov bombers,” or just “Antonovs,” in the Sudans.

But here’s the thing, readers: “Antonov” is not a kind of airplane, it’s a manufacturer of airplanes. You wouldn’t talk about “American McDonnell-Douglas fighters” or “Boeings on a bombing run” — that would be silly. Instead, we say “F-15 fighters” or “B-52s on a bombing run.”

Well, it’s just as silly to talk about “Sudanese Antonovs” bombing villages. What the Sudanese air force has is some An-24 “Coke” transport aircraft that they’ve improvised or retrofitted into some sort of homemade bombers. We should be reading about “Sudanese An-24s,” not “Sudanese Antonovs.”

(And, while we’re on the subject of Russian/ex-Soviet aircraft, there’s no such thing as “MIG” or “Mig” — it’s spelled “MiG.” “Mi” for “Mikoyan,” “G” for “Gurevich.” I see newspapers and magazines get this wrong much, much more often than they get it right.)

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