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    #1

    Abolition versus Abolishment

    Can you help?

    Both "abolition" and "abolishment" appear to be acceptable nouns to describe the act of abolishing.

    Is there a difference in usage?

    I think "abolishment" is more formal and specific and "abolition" is more general, so -

    (a) The 19th century saw the abolition of slavery in the United States.

    (b) The Gentlemens Club voted at their AGM on Monday for the abolishment of the university graduate criterion for membership.

    What do you think?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Abolition versus Abolishment

    I think it's partly a matter of cliché. We are so accustomed to the phrase "abolition of slavery" that it does not occur to us to use abolishment.

    Then there is personal preference. I have a strong preference for abolition.

    And lastly there may be some regional variation. I think one is more like to hear abolishment in AmE than in BrE.
    Last edited by probus; 13-May-2013 at 04:59.

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    #3

    Re: Abolition versus Abolishment

    I think that is because "Abolition" was such an important part of our history that the particular meaning (abolition of slavery) became attached to the entire word. Same with Prohibition.

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