Is aborted

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 4 04:18:10 UTC 2011

Here is an unverified Google Books cite with a GB date of 1973. There
is some potential ambiguity, but I think "your dog" refers to the
pregnant dog.

Give me one good reason
Norma Klein - 1973 - 251 pages - Snippet view
"Miss Van de Poel, I don't think you realize. ... I will abort your
dog for you, but neither I nor any vet in this country is going to
keep performing such an operation on a dog that should, under these
circumstances, be spayed.

The unverified cite below with a GB date of 1990 uses abort in more
than one way.

The dog repair book: a do-it-yourself guide for the dog owner
Ruth B. James - 1990 - 242 pages - Snippet view
If your purebred rare dog is bred to a common mutt, this litter (if
you allow her to have it) will be crossbred puppies. But there will be
NO influence at all on future litters. In most cases, it is safer to
just go ahead and allow her to have the puppies than to abort her and
try again. Aborting the litter may injure the bitch, …

Apparently there is a veterinary procedure that some call a
spay/abortion or spay/abort.

Pat Widmer's Cat Book
Patricia P. Widmer - 1984 - 182 pages - Snippet view
Cats may be spayed easily while in season, while having milk in their
breasts, while pregnant (in which case it's an abortion/spay).

There are multiple instances of a slash construction "spay/abort",
"spayed/aborted", spaying/aborting". This may encourage some to use
the word "abort" in a way that is grammatically parallel to "spay".
Here is an example.

[Maybe 11 months ago]
Should i have my dog aborted?
… I never wanted her to have any puppies but now I'm sure he
impregnated her. Is it okay to have a dog aborted and spayed at the
same time.

On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 9:23 PM, Federico Escobar
<federicoescobarcordoba at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Federico Escobar <federicoescobarcordoba at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Is aborted
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> You're right, searching that way does yield some hits. But you're also right
> in the grim scenarios that crop up. Better to take note of that sort of
> passive and move on.
> F.
> On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Is aborted
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 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.
>> LH
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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