Commending "commendation"Feb 4, 2009 12:00 AM
Love the magazine.
Really enjoy first person stories and Captn. Sweeney's column at the end of the mag.
Noticed something with recent issue #121. It's a small thing and has to do with English.
On page 25, in the "Tidewater Tug..." article, the bravery of crew members resulted in a "citation".
One page 53, in the "Mate Injured..." article, brave acts of one of the crew members resulted in his being "commended".
I think the use of each of these words in their respective context is clear. However, I think the generic meaning of citation has come to be a negative thing, as in traffic citation. Also people who violate the law are "cited".
The dictionary attaches no such meaning as I suggest above, but I think ordinary usage has.
Further, "commendation" always has a positive connotation, and as such should, I feel, be the word of choice.
I acknowledge I am not a professional mariner (just a boat nut) and "citation" may well have a more laudatory meaning inside the marine industry than I understand.
Keep up the good work.
Clark Douglas, Mount Vernon, WA