Should sudo be used?

Alex Zbyslaw xfb52 at
Fri Apr 6 11:08:07 UTC 2007

Jerry McAllister wrote:

>I noticed one grammatical thing of question.   In the first paragraph 
>under "Use ssh instead of Telnet or rsh/rlogin"  it says 
>   "they should never be used to administrate a machine over a network,"
>I think the word should be 'administer'  instead of 'administrate' 
>unless this is some sort of British thing.     I know, picky picky, but
>it just stood out to me as I was reading.
10 years ago you might have been correct.  An old dictionary on the 
shelf does not list "administrate".  However both modern dictionaries I 
tried listed it with the same meaning as administer in it's "oversee" sense.

On-line, try, for example, WordNet (web 
interface:  I can find over a 
dozen references with a google for "administrate meaning".

I can't find any etymology for this specific (and I would agree, in some 
sense wrong) form however it is clearly in common usage.

Language evolves, not always in ways that everyone likes.  Administer is 
a perfectly good word, and there's no need for "administrate" to exist.  
But language skills being what they are, someone looks at 
"administration" and it's quite understandable how they get to a verb 
"administrate".  C.f compensation, for example.


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