Corps approval was part of a newspaper headline when the expansion plans of Port Everglades (in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) were approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. Yes, that corps!
So, why would I blog about a group of engineers on my consular blog? Readers of my book know the reason already. It’s that pesky little word – the corps – that’s so often mis-pronounced with a hard “ps” and, also, it comes with a connection to the foreign consuls among us when it’s preceded by “consular.”
A consular corps consists of all consuls accredited in a particular geographic area. For instance, there’s the Consular Corps of Miami and the Consular Corps of Chicago, etc. The list is long as there are more than 3,000 foreign consuls spread out through all our fifty states.
But back to the pronunciation. “Corps” is correctly pronounced “cohr” whether it’s the Army Corps or consular. Unfortunately, the trouble doesn’t end there. You’d be surprised how many people write it with an e in the end. Suddenly, a consular corps turns into a corpse where the “ps” is a hard sound and the e remains silent.
As I mention in my book (chapter “Dissecting the Corpse”), even the U.S. President has been overheard as talking about the (Army) corps as if it were a dead body (“corpsemen”) without any known correction in the media. We can all learn and I love to teach the consular subject.
The lesson of today is that the meaning of a corpse is different from a corps. A corpse is simply the word for a dead body.
Finally, a headline saying Corps approval covers a lot of territory. As we’ve learned from the above, it could even refer to that ubiquitous consular corps!