Talk:kill off

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kill off

Rfd-redundant: To kill off as in a soap opera. Isn't this just the same meaning as #1 but in a fictional setting? If Homer Simpson murders Marge Simpson, that doesn't merit an "idiomatic" second meaning for murder, does it? Mglovesfun (talk) 19:43, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Other dictionaries defined "kill off" as "to kill in large numbers" and "to kill totally". The "kill totally" sense works for "killing off", say, a bottle of vodka. The fictional-work sense under discussion seems attestable. Some issues are:
  1. Is it just "kill" and intensifying "off"?
  2. Is there a sense with scope broader than its current wording?
  3. Wording.
-- DCDuring TALK 15:28, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
AFAICT both senses are the same, I just wanted some more opinions than my own in case I'm wrong. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
But you've opened to door to more. The entry needs improvement and what better time than now? And if not us, who? DCDuring TALK 16:44, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
More what? Senses? We might be talking at cross purposes here. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
In sense 1, is there one sense? Or two? What is that meaning? Is it "eliminate" in the sense of "make extinct" or just "eliminate"? Is "make extinct" a different sense? I could show that "kill off" in the sense of "make extinct" is the most common meaning. Given the current meaning of "extinct", that meaning does not fit "killing off" a single person (real or fictional). The "eliminate" sense might work for both vodka and Marge Simpson, but it is clearly distinct from the "make extinct" sense. The entries usage case of "killing off" multiple characters muddies the waters.
BTW, Encarta has the second sense, even mentioning soap operas. DCDuring TALK 18:19, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
The "soap opera" sense on Encarta and others is not within the fictional setting; it refers to the writers of the program eliminating the character through a scripted death. So, this is not a question of using the word in the same sense fictitiously. --EncycloPetey 18:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
To "write out of the script". Hmm. But AFAICT it always refers to the character(s) dying in some way. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes. The term could also be applied to Melville's treatment of the character Bulkington in his novel Moby Dick. The character is introduced as if he is going to play a significant role, but never does, and later is "killed off" by the author in an ocean storm. --EncycloPetey 19:44, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Good example. Keep. In a funny sort of way, I like being wrong in cases like this, because of learnt something. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:22, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Delete The author didn't “portray” her character, she created him and then made him dead – gave him life and killed him, conclusively; killed him off. If an author made a character rich beyond his dreams, should we add a sense to make meaning “to represent or portray as made,” along with every other transitive verb? Michael Z. 2010-03-22 17:24 z

Delete per MZ.​—msh210 17:33, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Delete, per above. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Sense deleted.​—msh210 19:22, 15 June 2010 (UTC)


Last modified on 19 June 2010, at 19:17