I've been reading a fair bit of Russian history lately. Last night it occurred to me that because war has changed, so has the process of changing governments against those governments' will. The two World Wars of the twentieth century swept numerous governments out of power and rearranged polities wholesale, but that had been the pattern of war at various scales since at least the twelfth century. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires disappeared as a result of World War I, and World War II stripped away the colonies the various European nations had acquired, while adding colonies to the Soviet Union.
The Soviet colonies detached themselves relatively peacefully in 1989-1991. The press and others, usually not directly involved in the changes, have attached adjectives to the word "revolution" to describe those changes. But do they constitute revolutions? That gets harder to say. And, although "The Velvet Revolution" nicely encapsulated our surprise at the lack of bloodshed accompanying Czechoslovakia's transition and the Estonians love their "Singing Revolution," I've found the other adjectives forced and superficial. Does each transition need to have its own brand?
And there are legal reasons not to use the word "coup." Sorry, headline writers.