English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What word can show that an action is redeemable? Is there a synonym for closed/suspended that connotes a chance at redemption?

share|improve this question
People are correct in saying that suspension is redeemable. If you want something that sounds gentler, though, you might say on hold. – onomatomaniak Oct 15 '11 at 7:47
In hockey, there is the "Penalty Box" where you are excluded from the game for a set period of time. Maybe you could call your "mild suspension" something like "Penalty Box". – GEdgar Oct 16 '11 at 12:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the context is what I think it is, you really ought to ask which phrase sounds gentler: "the question is closed" or "the question is suspended". Neither sounds particularly kind to the person asking the question. The first does carry a greater finality to my ear, however.

To answer the direct question, context is everything. Pete Rose given a lifetime suspension from baseball in 1989. A criminal sometimes gets a suspended sentence, which is gentler than serving hard time, but still a conviction. Suspension in most social contexts, sounds like someone has done something very wrong.

As Hellion suggests, closed doors usually may be opened again. A proposal may be closed for comments, which is usually final. People sometimes say the "book is closed" on an incident to mean it has come to an end. In social situations, "close" may be temporary or permanent depending on what rules are in force.

My suggestion for the particular problem of what to call a question that needs work in order to be open to new answers is (and was) "under construction". Other suggestions that I like as both gentler and less final were "draft" and "needs work".

(You beat me to the idea of using this resource. Great minds...)

share|improve this answer
"lifetime suspension" is just a euphemism. – Mechanical snail Jun 6 '12 at 7:20
Did this posting contribute to the "On Hold" change for newly closed questions? – tchrist Dec 19 '15 at 21:28

suspended should work for your purposes. This word indicates a temporary or conditional termination pending some future redeeming action.

share|improve this answer

Personally I see nothing particularly final about a suspension, or even a closing; otherwise a door would be a single-use object, after which it would become a funny-colored part of the wall.

If something is terminated, then it is well and truly ended with no opportunity for redemption. If something is only suspended, it can be resumed or reinstated with little effort. You can further emphasize that by declaring it to be "temporarily suspended".

share|improve this answer

I'm not sure of the context but would "deprecated" fit?

share|improve this answer

Two words, but my single word finding skills seem to be on hiatus this morning. Perhaps that subsystem's sabbatical will end as more caffeine is consumed?

share|improve this answer

Consider this non exhaustive list of synonyms for "suspended:"

adjourned: suspended until a later slated time.

tabled: US : (of a bill, motion, etc.) laid aside for future discussion, or for an indefinite period of time.

on the table: US : (of a bill, motion, etc.) laid aside for future discussion, or for an indefinite period of time.

pigeonholed: lay aside for the present; deferred.

on hold: Informal : into a state of delay or indeterminate suspension.

on the back burner: Fig. : on hold or suspended temporarily.

frozen: (of a process) suspended temporarily.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.