Mark Mandel Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Mon Sep 24 17:18:39 UTC 2001

Thomas Paikeday <t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA> writes:

Is "elope" in the old sense of "escape" common in contemporary English?
All the examples in my database are in the sense of "run away together
to get married," as in "Dick eloped with Jane" and "They eloped."

Not in general use for 'escape', no. But in mental hospitals it is a common
term for 'go AWOL, leave without permission'. It is not restricted to
'escape'-- which I would define for this purpose as 'leave without
permission intending not to return'-- but can be used for, e.g., going out
overnight without permission, with the intention of coming back the next
day. Whether or not the patient actually does return is IMHO outside the
semantic scope of the verb.

                  Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist
            Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com

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