"Pre-owned,""near miss," "s/he"

Thom Harrison tharriso at MAIL.MACONSTATE.EDU
Fri Sep 28 12:43:49 UTC 2001

The possible conflict in meanings of "pre-owned"--that is, "someone did
something before s/he owned it" vs. "used"--is that analogous to the
formerly common "near miss"?

"Near miss" looks like it ought to mean that someone almost missed
something but hit it after all, while it was used to mean that someone
almost hit something but missed it after all.

By the way, is there any consensus these days on the non-gender-specific
pronoun to agree with "someone"?  I see "s/he" in emails, but outside
academics "they" seems to be the choice by default.


Thom Harrison
Macon State College

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