"format" (verb) possible new sense

Marc Sacks msacks at WORLD.STD.COM
Sat Nov 16 15:46:57 UTC 2002

Speaking as someone with over 25 years in the software industry, I have
to say this usage is new to me.

Marc Sacks
msacks at world.std.com

James A. Landau wrote:

>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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