Wednesday, January 09, 2008usage of "evacuate" in Sunday's episode. Full story is here.
From New York Magazine:
"Merriam-Webster's Peter Sokolowski, using the handle "MERRIAM_WEBSTER" (heh), commented on our post, pointing us to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage's article on this very subject. Summarizes Sokolowski: "This was indeed a usage controversy until about WWII, by which time the 'remove (people)' sense had taken firm hold. According the MWDEU: 'The respectability of this sense is no longer subject to question.'"
Wire creator David Simon responded with his reasoning:
"At the Baltimore Sun in my day, I was chastised by the great Jay Spry, rewrite man to the world, for evacuating people in my report of a downtown gas leak. I plead guilty to an anachronism if indeed that is what it now is. However, I would argue that since the evacuation of people can in fact mean giving them enemas, the use of such a phrase should be discouraged by editors, given that the alternate phrase in which a given locale is evacuated is better and unequivocal. When a word has two meanings, find another word."
Go figure. I still won't use evacuate alone though. I'm scarred for life.