0

As the title says, when a Brit in modern times writes 'since the war' which war is being refereed to -WWI or WW2?

closed as off-topic by J.R., RyeɃreḁd, Kristina Lopez, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Kris Nov 2 '13 at 7:05

  • This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    Without preceding cues, WWII. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 1 '13 at 9:25
  • 1
    The first world war was when Alexander the Great crawled out of Europe to invade Asia. The 2nd world war was the Golden Horde of Mongols and Turkics sweeping across Asia and then into Europe. What some people call WW I, was but a euro-centric skirmish of the scale of Charlemagne or Napolean waged with more modern weapons which had barely spilled the borders of Europe. – Blessed Geek Nov 1 '13 at 10:15
  • 1
    Calling WW I a world war because of a couple of Australian soldiers and Gurkha contigents, is akin to Mainers calling Portland "International" Jetport because of that singular paddle-plane flight to nearby Canada. I wonder if the Iraq war should be upgraded to a world war due to its international participation. – Blessed Geek Nov 1 '13 at 10:23
  • 1
    @Blessed Geek. The Napoleonic Wars hardly merit the title of 'war' compared to the 'total wars' of the twentieth century. They involved every member of the population of those countries involved, in some way shape or form, whether producing armaments, tinned food for troops etc. Britain completely abandoned the manufacture of any luxury goods. Every single unit of industrial capacity was dedicated to the war effort, or the production of food. Interestingly Germany did continue making things like private motor cars throughout the war. But that was on a tiny scale compared to war production. – WS2 Nov 1 '13 at 11:14
  • 2
    @BlessedGeek, I'm sure the families of the over 37 million soldier and civilian casualties from WWI would beg to differ. – Kristina Lopez Nov 1 '13 at 13:12
2

Most probably, WWII. WWI, most of the time, is referenced as 'The Great War'.

  • 1
    Don't mention the war – mplungjan Nov 1 '13 at 9:35
  • 2
    The expression 'The Great War' fairly rapidly faded from use following the Second World War. It is donkeys' years since I have heard anyone use it. My grandmother used the term, but she died in 1964. – WS2 Nov 1 '13 at 10:04
  • Google ngrams shows "The Great War" to have hit a low in the 1950's and had a slight but steady increase since then. This is more pronounced in British English, but found in American as well. – Colin Fine Nov 1 '13 at 14:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.