The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Archive for April 26th, 2008


with 2 comments

One who continually bemoans the ‘loss’ of the word ‘gay’ to the English language, even though they had never used the word in any context at all until they started complaining that they couldn’t use it any more.

Before encountering computers, I had always seen the word ‘deprecate’ in contexts from which I understood that it was synonymous to disparage, deplore, condemn, belittle, derogate, and so on.

The computing world uses “X is deprecated” to mean that the feature X is discouraged, often because a recommended replacement has been found for it — thus X is obsolescent, and while using it will work currently, it is expected to stop working in the future, so one is recommended to avoid using it.

With the rise of technology and the decline in reading, many people have encountered the word solely in the latter context, and have taken it to mean something that is “old”, and for which a newer replacement exists: Thus I see people announcing, with no sign of self-deprecation, that “This blog is deprecated”.

Written by S

Sat, 2008-04-26 at 18:17:02

Posted in language

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