penciled out + fired

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 16:39:30 UTC 2011

The issue may partly stem from your specific example. A "lay off"
includes severence for the employees "laid off". If a company goes
into Chapter 11, the employees may not get anything, including pension
entitlements. (Think Enron.) In this case, being laid off is pretty
much the same as being fired.

I still think, however, that your perception is wrong. A google search
for "employees fired" brings up a list of stories about employees
being fired for cause. A search for "employees laid off" refers to
lay-offs. I don't know what source is generating the misuses you see,
but general usage seems to be mostly correct.

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: penciled out + fired
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> An overstatement, on my part, no doubt. What I meant is that "fired" is
> used routinely where I expect "laid off", rarely in reverse. It took me
> long enough to learn the distinction back in the 80s...
> VS-)
> On 9/26/2011 10:46 AM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>> I don't understand your claim of "fired" being used exclusively --
>> check Google News for many, many recent  correct examples.
>> DanG
>> On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 5:03 AM, Victor Steinbok<aardvark66 at>  wrote:
>>> An unrelated observation is that I've increasingly noticed that e
>>> distinction between "laid off" and "fired" has been near wiped out. I've
>>> always seen "fired" as a more pro-active phrasing, suggesting that
>>> either the employee did something to deserve the ax or that the employer
>>> had some motive to ax the specific employee. In contrast, involuntary
>>> action--such as a result of bankruptcy--would normally be written up as
>>> "laid off". But, lately, "fired" is the one term that appears almost
>>> exclusively.
>>>> Whether corporate managers issued misleading financial information or
>>>> covered up growing problems remains to be determined as federal
>>>> authorities probe the company, which fired its roughly 1,100 employees
>>>> on the last day of August and filed for Chapter 11 protection Sept. 6.
>>> Or is this recency illusion at work again?
>>> VS-)
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society -
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list