Re: Killer Language -Reply

Subject: Re: Killer Language -Reply
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 12:03:02 EST

"Huber, Mike" Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM> wrote:

> I tend to agree with the negative connotation. But it
> doesn't mean (in my mind) the same thing as "cancel."
> "Cancel" means nothing permanent has been done, and we
> just aren't going to do what we had set out to do. "Abort"
> means that we are in the middle of a process, and we are
> going to bail out right here, or at the next opportunity,
> with possible unpleasant consequences.

"Susan W. Gallagher" sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM> wrote:

> "[T]erminate" and "stop" have totally different meanings
> from "abort", which carries with it the "abnormal" and
> "without completion" connotations missing from the other
> two choices.

This is why I use "abandon." It also means that we are in
the middle of a process and are going to bail out ASAP even
if that creates even more problems than we already had. And
it doesn't bring up the specter of human abortion.

I don't mind using "hit," but people who work with me prefer
"press," so that's what I use, even though it seems overly
dainty to me. I don't mind indulging their sensitivities.
It would be nice if they would return the favor.

Eric Haddock <eric -at- ENGAGENET -dot- COM> wrote:

> Whenever I hear the word "abort," I can't not think
> about abortion. No matter what the context is I can't help
> myself.
> To me, anything with "abort" in it has a negative
> connotation even if the action itself is merely a computer
> sort. My sensitivity to this is in the minority I know
> <snip>

It could be that you are less in the minority than you
think. These days, it is considered laughable to be
sensitive to the matter of abortion. If one expresses any
opposition to it, even says that maybe there could be more
than one opinion on the subject, one is often ridiculed,
one's friends occasionally drop one like a hot potato, one's
career can be derailed, etc. So those who are against
abortion, or even those who think that it should be rarer,
are effectively shut up.

This is a free society and we can discuss anything we want
-- except abortion. Somehow it is taboo. As a tech writer,
I want to absorb and distribute information, so it
frustrates me when a subject is off limits, especially one
like abortion, which so desperately needs calm, rational
discussion.

Anyway, I have never had a user fail to understand what
"abandon" means, even those who are accustomed to saying
"abort." I've asked them, and they say no, it makes perfect
sense to them. Since it works for all of us, and "abort"
doesn't work for me, I use "abandon."

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)


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