the meaning of REDACTED

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Sep 14 11:28:26 UTC 2007

From:    "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>

> I think it's relevant that "redact" has taken on the specific meaning of
> editing to remove identifying, privileged, or irrelevant information,
> and that that meaning now predominates.  If someone were using "redact"
> as a pedantic synonym for "edit," I would think at this point you would
> need some sort of context to show that the word is being used in an
> unusual sense.  See the discussion from 2004, summarized in Arnold's
> Language Log post at

More vague musing than a serious proposal, but there might could be
something to it: Could "redact" specializing into "*removal* through
editing" be the result of a sort of what might be called an "eggcorn
effect" (i.e., "redact" sounds sorta like "reduct", so they must be

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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