Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: kidnapping (2).

kidnapping (2). Today: Sense. “Kidnapping” = the act or an instance of taking or carrying away a person without his or her consent, by force or fraud, and without lawful excuse. Does “kidnapping” refer only to the napping of kids? No. At common law, it was defined as the forcible abduction or stealing away of a man, woman, or child from his or her own country and taking him or her into another. Originally, the “kids” who were napped were not children at all, but laborers who were taken by force or by guile for service on early American plantations. The law therefore distinguishes between “adult-kidnapping,” which includes the element of force or fraud, and “child-kidnapping,” which often does not, because, for example, there might be no force or fraud involved in making off with a baby-stroller. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “When you write, be as conceited as you can be — ‘conceit’ is not the right word, but I want to overstate the point. You must have total self-esteem. Leave your self-doubts behind when you sit down to write — and pick them up again, if you wish, during the process of editing. Sometimes your writing will give you reason to feel some self-doubt afterward . . . . But while you are writing, . . . [r]egard yourself as an absolute, sovereign consciousness. Forget that man is fallible and that you might make mistakes. That is true, but it is for the next day, when you edit.” Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction 59-60 (1969; Robert Mayhew ed., 2001). ====================
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