to "overtake" a computer

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Aug 26 18:53:07 UTC 2009

In an article in today's Boston Globe about viruses that hide within
downloaded images of celebrities, its writer says "Once downloaded,
they overtake the computer, resulting in pop-up screens or even
identity theft."

She must be thinking of fast mobile computers.

I don't think she really meant "overtake, v.", either
2.c. To become greater or more successful than; or
5.    To overpower the will, senses, or feelings of; to win over,
captivate; to overwhelm with emotion.  [We all know computers don't
have emotions to be captivated.]

Perhaps she meant
8. Chiefly Sc. To take up or occupy the whole of (a space); to extend
over, cover. Obs.; or
9.  To overcome the judgement of; to deceive, take in.  Obs.

But as the lyrics to the theme song for "Monk" say, "But I don't think so."


The American Dialect Society -

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