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No, Peter, it is a Brit illiteracy, which you would ... farther down in the OED. It's only 450 years old.

Not at all. You misunderstand, for some reason, that all the references are to exonerating 'of' or 'from' a person, ... ago. Only the recent yank illiteracy of using it to say that a thing, bail, can be exonerated, is new.

Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your finances 450 years ago and still can.
From Def. 1: to unload, lighten a ship.
Notice that it means to exonerate goods from a thing called a ship.

(Usage examples): again: 1785 Burke Sp. Nabob Arcot's Debts Wks. IV.
308 The debt thus exonerated of so great a weight of its odium. 1798Wellington in Owen Disp. 29 Success would certainly exonerate our finances.
Notice that in 1785 "a debt" was exonerated and in 1798 "our finances" were exonerated. Surely, debts and finances are things and not persons, not even legal persons.
4. trans. a. To discharge, pour off (a fluid product, a body ofwater). b. To cast off, get rid of (persons, population). Obs. rare.

a. 1615 Crooke Body of Man 429 It (the bile) is ... exonerated into that which is called the Caua or hollow veine. 1635 N. Carpenter Geog. Del. ii. vi. 96 The streitnesse of the channell, wherein a great ... sea is to bee exonerated. 1672 Phil. Trans. VII. 5009 The Lympha does wholly exonerate itself into the sub-clavial and jugular veins. 1614 Raleigh Hist. World i. viii. ? These borderers ... might exonerate their swelling multitudes. 1657 M. Hawke Killing is M. 23 Whereby such nefarious and facinerous persons may be exonerated.

And we can see that in the 17th century, things other than the bowels and Nature itself, and not only persons were also exonerated.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Not at all. You misunderstand, for some reason, that all ... say that a thing, bail, can be exonerated, is new.

Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your finances 450 years ago and still can. From Def. 1: to ... that in the 17th century, things other than the bowels and Nature itself, and not only persons were also exonerated.

Thank you. I feel exonerated.
Izzy
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Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your ... and Nature itself, and not only persons were also exonerated.

Thank you. I feel exonerated.

Takes a load off my mind.
So I see. When a word is used to help ... think that this is a matter of passion for me?

"- nobody has objected to these usages!" seems a bit passionate. However, I really should not try to judge your motivation. Izzy

Especially when you consider the official name of this group.

Fran
Not at all. You misunderstand, for some reason, that all ... say that a thing, bail, can be exonerated, is new.

Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your finances 450 years ago and still can. From Def. 1: to ... and in 1798 "our finances" were exonerated. Surely, debts and finances are things and not persons, not even legal persons.

True. Not without an object though. The goods were exonerated from the ship, the debt was exonerated from the weight of odium and finances were exonerated from the possible failure. The judge claimed that the bail was itself exonderated - but not from anything, which makes no sense.

Thanks for clarfying the error, though. It was a grammatical rather than a semantic one.

Politics are not an instrument for effecting social change; they are the art of making the inevitable appear to be a matter of wise human choice. -Quentin Crisp, 'Resident Alien'
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Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your ... and Nature itself, and not only persons were also exonerated.

Thank you. I feel exonerated.

You shouldn't. The judge was still wrong, or his usage was. Not for quite the reason I said at first, I agree, but, nevertheless wrong.

In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them. - Johann von Neumann
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Thank you. I feel exonerated.

You shouldn't. The judge was still wrong, or his usage was. Not for quite the reason I said at first, I agree, but, nevertheless wrong.

Does that mean that, while you are infallible, you are not infallible all the time?
Izzy
Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your ... finances are things and not persons, not even legal persons.

True. Not without an object though. The goods were exonerated from the ship, the debt was exonerated from the weight ... anything, which makes no sense. Thanks for clarfying the error, though. It was a grammatical rather than a semantic one.

If you look again at the Wellington 1798 usage under Def. 1, you will notice that "finances" is the direct object of exonerate. that s what it means to be a transitive usage. The judge said, "I will exonerate your bail", in which sentence "bail" is also the DO of the transitive verb "exonerate".
And as Lars pointed out, "bail" in the judge's sentence could just as easily mean "the person who provides the bail money", which would give the sentence it's for-you-required human object.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Not true. You could exonerate your bowels or your ... finances are things and not persons, not even legal persons.

True. Not without an object though. The goods were exonerated from the ship, the debt was exonerated from the weight ... anything, which makes no sense. Thanks for clarfying the error, though. It was a grammatical rather than a semantic one.

Stubborin.
Izzy
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