On Aviation StackExchange, I've seen these:

I don't think you will be violated..

He was subsequently violated...

Pilot [...] may now be violated for it.

... pilots have been violated...

It seems in all of these cases "violated" is being used where I would have used "found in violation of regulation".

This doesn't match my understanding of the definition of the word "violate", which means to break a rule or law, or to abuse or harm or sexually victimize.

Is there some idiomatic definition of this word that comes from FAA regulations or US Code or tradition or somewhere else?

Is there a name for this... inversion (?) of subject/object?

  • Also, not sure if I characterized this tense correctly.. Some seem future perfect, others are actually past perfect. Feel free to correct!
    – user166568
    Apr 27 '16 at 16:06
  • It's being used here to mean something like "cited" or "charged".
    – MetaEd
    Apr 27 '16 at 16:15

This sense of violate is perhaps best known in the context of the parole system:

  1. trans. U.S. slang. To return (a prisoner on parole) to prison for breaking the conditions of his or her parole; to report (a prisoner) for a parole violation. [OED]

This (not alas linkable to general public) was the only definition I found for this sense. By extension, this sense might be generalized to something like “declare or find to be in violation of applicable laws, requirements, or restrictions”—such as those for a pilot’s license.

The bolded verb formation in “I don’t think you will be violated” is future passive.

  • Thanks! The dictionaries I consulted didn't have that definition.
    – user166568
    Apr 27 '16 at 16:21
  • Thank you for consulting some, @Dawn. Generally it is best to indicate that you have already done so in asking a question here. Apr 27 '16 at 16:35
  • 1
    @Dawn Yes, sadly there are others. People who do not know the rules of English start all sorts of ridiculous trends in the way language is used, which I don't hesitate to describe as incorrect.. Another instance which has been discussed on this site is interview. People regularly say I am interviewing for jobs, when they mean they are being interviewed.... I religiously avoid such misuse like the plague.
    – WS2
    Apr 29 '16 at 16:39
  • @WS2 Thanks :) (I deleted the comment I think you're replying to, but for context for future readers, I had asked if there are other examples like this, but I've now asked a stand-alone question for that: english.stackexchange.com/questions/322534/…)
    – user166568
    Apr 29 '16 at 16:45
  • 1
    It's worth noting that this usage is jargon: the meaning is specific to a few limited domains (e.g. parolees and, apparently, airline inspections); and trying to use the word with this intended meaning outside of these domains or contexts will cause confusion at best, and quite possibly a serious misunderstanding.
    – Hellion
    Apr 29 '16 at 18:59

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