Re: Kill Overkill

Subject: Re: Kill Overkill
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 23:17:37 -0800

On Sun, 17 Nov 1996 20:22:41 -0500, Edward Savitz wrote:

>Kill Overkill.

No doubt.

>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.

Worse: it has apparently been changed to ONLY refer to such an action,
and all other uses of the term are thus "inappropriate" or
"insensitive" or (I hate to use the term) "politically incorrect".

>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
>homosexual.

"Fags" used to be cigarettes, too.

>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.

Societally-distanced marketing department, in the case of AYDS :-)

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

But not overly sensitive so as to discard long-established terms with
many meanings, just because ONE of the meanings has lately come to
refer to something "bad".



Your friend and mine,
Matt
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