penciled out + fired

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 26 19:18:22 UTC 2011

A look through Google News routinely finds "laid off" where "laid off"
would be expected, and "fired" where "fired" would be expected.

The only example that may be unclear to some is this one:

The guy was let go from an executive position. (The brandishing of the
knife occurred after he was let go.)
In my book, an individual top executive who is let go is "fired", not
"laid off", even if it is not directly 'for cause'. In general,
"lay-offs" are institutional; firing are specific to the individual.


On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: penciled out + fired
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9/26/2011 12:39 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>>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.
> I see "fired" in newspapers routinely where "laid off" is what I
> would expect.  Like Victor.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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