Is aborted

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 2 16:17:15 UTC 2011

At 12:02 PM -0400 1/2/11, Federico Escobar wrote:
>Not a pleasant first post of the year, but one particular use of the verb
>"abort" caught my attention.
>This was posted on a Facebook discussion, and nobody made a comment on it:
>"I am not giving her until she is aborted and fixed."
>The poster referred to a dog who got pregnant by accident. One could think
>it means that the dog herself must be aborted (i.e., her life terminated).
>What the person means is that the dog must be subjected to an abortion
>(i.e., her puppies must be aborted).
>It's difficult to separate this particular passive from other, well-settled
>examples of "is aborted" (e.g., "Dialogue is aborted"). I ran a search of
>"is aborted" on the COCA and came up with no examples that were similar to
>the one I quoted.
One way of finding (or not finding) relevant hits is by searching on
"I was aborted".  Granted, this isn't perfect, since it mostly picks
up cases of "I wish I was aborted" and cases of "I was aborted at 7
1/2 months and lived!", where the ordinary passive is involved, and
it won't include relevant instances of dogs on whom abortions were
performed except for talking dogs, but it does pick up a couple of
cases like this one:

i was aborted 3 weeks ago!

apparently i was pregnant for 8 weeks suddenly was aborted and after
that i still have blood from the day of abortion until now i till
blood its been past 3 weeks after my abortion
I'd look for more, but for various reasons the search is pretty awful.


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