Ever since the U.S. military uttered its code name for its intervention into Libya, the phrase has been widely lampooned.'Odyssey Dawn'? Where'd the military get this? According to Wired's Adam Rawnsley, the reason so many of the military's code names are a little out there is because of the "semi-random name-generating system" it has in place. Step one is picking the letters that can start the first word, (in this instance: JF through JZ, NS through NZ, and OA through OF). The U.S. Africa Command went with the latter range and selected "Odyssey." After that, Rawnsley writes, "Africom pulled out 'Dawn' for its second word and the resulting combination, 'Odyssey Dawn,' is devoid of any intended meaning." So lay off the cruise ship or porn star or long adventure comparisons.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.