Kill Overkill

Subject: Kill Overkill
From: Edward Savitz <sg94cshj -at- DUNX1 -dot- OCS -dot- DREXEL -dot- EDU>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 20:22:41 -0500

Kill Overkill.

It has been duly established that "abort", a valid term used for decades
by people in engineering, electronics, computer science, the military,
etc. has been changed inexorably by the medical/social/political term
referring to ending the progress of a human life in-utero.

This is certainly not the first time a word has been dominated by one of
its many meanings. Consider the word gay, that used to mean happy and
carefree. No one I've met uses the word to mean anything other than

Home Health Aides used to be the term for "visiting allied health
professional" giving aftercare at home. But "aides" sounds like AIDS.
There was even a diet pill called AYDS to help suppress appetite.
Society makes the wrong connection.

Bottom line, writers need to be sensitive to the cultural and
customary-use context of words. So do we all.

Ed Savitz
sg94cshj -at- dunx1 -dot- ocs -dot- drexel -dot- edu

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