"format" (verb) possible new sense

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 15 15:40:31 UTC 2002

At a meeting at work yesterday we discovered that a typo had changed the word
"formal" to "format".  Everybody at the meeting seemed to be a little rattled
by this type, because of the connection with "to format one's hard disk",
which is a very disastrous thing to have happen to one's PC-compatible.

Apparently the verb "to format" has acquired, among computer users, a new
sense of "to have something disastrous happen".  Has anyone else noticed this?

        - James A. Landau
          systems engineer
          FAA Technical Center (ACB-510/BCI)
          Atlantic City Int'l Airport NJ 08405 USA

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