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#208524 - 12/28/12 12:46 PM Evacuee.....
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6486
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Letter to the Times,London, Oct. 14, 1939:

Sir,

If ordinary English usage counts for anything, an evacuee is a person who has been evacued, whatever that may be, as a trustee is one who has been trusted; for 'evacuee' cannot be thought of as a feminine French form, as 'employee' is by some.

Where are we going to stop if 'evacuee' is accepted as good English? Is a terrible time coming in which a woman, much dominated by her husband, will be called a dominee? Will she often be made a humiliee by his rough behavior and sometimes prostree with grief after an unsought quarrel?

Must sensitive people suffer the mutilation of their language until they die and are ready to become cremees?

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

F.H.J. Newton
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#208530 - 12/28/12 04:01 PM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Oh, noes!!! People are using the language in a manner different from the way I do. Make them stop, mommy!!!

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#208531 - 12/28/12 05:25 PM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: Faldage]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
Well, despite Mr Newtons protestations, (he, of course is a protestee)evacuee became the accepted word for someone who had been "evacuated." The alternative would have been, "evacuatee," I suppose, which is ugly and difficult to say. The English have always, I think, modified words to fit easy speech - and a good thing too.
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#208535 - 12/29/12 11:08 AM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Must sensitive people suffer the mutilation of their language until they die and are ready to become cremees?

Sensitive people should learn some historical linguistics which ought to prepare them for the real world of language. The A-H dictionary does not even have a usage note where such peeves go; M-W collegiate cites 1918 as its entry into the language. (Looking at its timeline in Google's NGram, shows that 1939, that annus mirabilis) was indeed when it took off. Wonder what FHJ Newton was doing then? Being demobbed and getting ready to bash heads in the General Strike.

My personal favorite of the -ee words is alienee 'one to whom ownership of property has been transferred'.
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Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#208640 - 01/01/13 09:00 PM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
A C Bowden Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 261
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
'evacuee' cannot be thought of as a feminine French form

Why not? It is a feminine French form.

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#208643 - 01/01/13 09:18 PM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Not in English, it ain't.

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#208644 - 01/01/13 09:22 PM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Probably not in French, either. We have others who could comment on that with more authority.


Nope. I was wrong. It is good French as long as you put the accents agues in the right places.

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#208651 - 01/02/13 07:04 AM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: Faldage]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
évacuée. Not claiming authority but yes, strip them of the accents aigus/ accents agues and it's English.

As goes for this book title: Protegee

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#208652 - 01/02/13 07:27 AM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
évacuée

In the sense of 'a (female) person who has been expelled or evacuated' from the verb évacuer. The French dictionary I consulted says it's a military term and that it's been around since at least the late 17th century. It seems possible that the French military term predates the English one.
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Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#208656 - 01/02/13 08:21 AM Re: Evacuee..... [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Etymology Online says it dates to 1934 in English. And, yes, we got it from the French, so blame them.


Edited by Faldage (01/02/13 08:21 AM)

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