How did we allow this sinister word to infiltrate our vernacular?
I don't mean the television show starring the exquisite Claire Danes, who would be my pick to play Lindsey if the Mapstone Mysteries were ever made into a movie. No, I'm talking about the word now used in place of "continental United States," "the home front" or "the nation."
In addition to the Department of Homeland Security, the word is commonly attached to sentences and phrases, including in fine newspapers. As in "the U.S. homeland." William Strunk says it best: omit unnecessary words. How about just "in the United States."
Were Bill Safire alive, he would trace the exact origins. But we know it arose after 9/11, as the nation was being lied into two unnecessary wars, giving away our liberties in the so-called Patriot Act, setting up a proto-police state and enshrining torture as national policy.