Martial, Marshal, Marshall

 

One inspiration for my A to Z theme was the constant misuse of “marshall” on social media. I’ve seen so many comments claiming “such and so politician is declaring Marshall Law.”

Now, theoretically, Marshal Law could be a set of rules imposed by some sort of government official, e.g. an air marshal or train marshal.

Marshal Marshall

Like this old-time guy.

And (theoretically) Marshall Law could be a set of rules imposed by a dude named Marshall, a la Marshall Eriksen from How I Met Your Mother.

Oh, Marshmallow

But neither of those means Martial Law,as in having to do with war. So named because of the God of War, Mars (remember him, we named the red planet after him).

Martial, adj. having to do with war or the armed forces
Marshal, n. an officer, often similar to a sheriff, sometimes a police or fire chief
to arrange in proper order
Marshall, n. (a proper name)

Marshal Marshall, marshal your men. I’m declaring martial law, and I need your help!

 

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