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Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 14 May 1998 17:26:59 -0700
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Michael Feldman wrote:

> ...
> It's really just a difference in coloration, I guess. "Mandate" has a
> lot of meanings, and literally you're right, but in the Ada case it
> was used (in my experience) almost exclusively in a complaining,
> negative sense. What might originally have been a neutral term
> became a highly negative one.
> This is akin to the way "mandate" (often preceded by "unfunded") has
> crept into everyday US usage. In this sense, "mandate" means anything
> the Big Bad Federal government tells you to do that you don't want to
> do. Think about environmental "mandates", for example. There are lots
> of examples of this - the word "mandate" has become, in
> politico-speak,
> a vilification. ...

OK, good clarification.  I guess I don't naturally think of the kinds of
mandates you cite as villifications (because my liberal persuasion is to
agree with those you mention & others), but I think you're right about
the Average Joe's perception.  I still wanta keep the "After the
Mandate" name on my SIGAda'98 conference panel (esp. since you
acknowledge that most inside our community will not misunderstand.  And,
if we were to capture some non-Adaites at the conference, I think the
"After" undoes the damage, and might even be interpreted as a little
self-effacing jab.  :-)   --Hal