Re: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: Re: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 13:58:24 -0400

From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>

We allow either one. However, I personally have never
understood this whole "magic" thing related to the
word "appears." The appearance is the direct result of
an action taken by the reader so why do people feel it
has the connotation of magic? You do x, and y appears.
No incantation or wands needed.

-- Janice
Your message implies that I'm, not the only person you ever encountered
who feels that "appears" has a connotation of magic, and that makes me
feel a little better, because now I don't have to feel like I'm crazy.

You're right -- there's no reason the word SHOULD imply a supernatural
occurrence, but I think there is a logical reason for the connotation.
It's because of the way the word "appear" is often used in stories that
involve magic or the supernatural. Cinderella's fairy godmother
appeared. A ghost appeared to someone. Somebody waves a magic wand or
recites a spell and something appears. The word has been used that way
so much that it's created that association.

I'm sure there are many other such words in the English language that
have connotations stemming from how they've been used, but I can't think
of any right now.
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