I ordered a few items online last night. The email I received just now says, in its Subject line, "Your order has shipped."

Naturally, my question is: What has my order shipped, and to whom?

Looks like "been" takes too much time to type. (So how about "was" instead of "has"? Not perfect, perhaps, but surely better than "has" alone, don't you think?)

(Has this come up before? And am I wrong in thinking the usage is "off"?)
Maria Conlon
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(Has this come up before? And am I wrong in thinking the usage is "off"?)

I also think the usage is off, but with 13,000-odd Google hits it's probably here to stay. Even though, for now, the proper version gets twice as many hits, I wouldn't be surprised to see the ratio slowly change over the years to favour the off version.
How about 'to commit to' (a contract, etc.), a formerly respectable reflexive verb now often used without the reflexive pronoun?...g
Maria Conlon wrote on 16 Dec 2004:
I ordered a few items online last night. The email I received just now says, in its Subject line, "Your ... alone, don't you think?) (Has this come up before? And am I wrong in thinking the usage is "off"?)

The usage is not at all "off". It's common in international trade circles, where orders ship every day. Google may show only 13,000 hits, but in the 8 years that I've been revising business letters here in Taiwan, I've probably seen it another 13,000 times that Google cannot provide.

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I ordered a few items online last night. The email I received just now says, in its Subject line, "Your ... alone, don't you think?) (Has this come up before? And am I wrong in thinking the usage is "off"?)

I bet many people here will "agree your message", hehe. Another unusual construction from Rightpondia I've noticed, but has been discussed here already.
"Your order has shipped" sounds like the order is a living being and has done it itself. ;-)
Larry
I ordered a few items online last night. The email ... And am I wrong in thinking the usage is "off"?)

I bet many people here will "agree your message", hehe. Another unusual construction from Rightpondia I've noticed, but has been discussed here already. "Your order has shipped" sounds like the order is a living being and has done it itself. ;-) Larry

Like 'the clock has stopped' you mean?
"Your order has shipped" sounds like the order is a living being and has done it itself. ;-)
At the end of the trip someone in the house can say "Your package has arrived."
or
"Your package arrived."
Both sound unremarkable.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
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"Your order has shipped" sounds like the order is a living being and has done it itself. ;-) At the end of the trip someone in the house can say "Your package has arrived." or "Your package arrived." Both sound unremarkable.

But that's quite different. "To arrive" has been what a thing does, for ages. "To ship" has not been what a thing does. "To ship" is usually what people do to things. So we expect the passive, "To have been shipped".
Joe shipped the package. The package was shipped by Joe. We shipped your package. Your package has been shipped (by us).

I don't mind the new usage, "Your package shipped yesterday," and "Your package has shipped," but let's not pretend that it's old. Or, if it *is* old, it was restricted to those whose business it was to ship things. (I do not remember it from twenty years ago when I worked for a mail-order business.)
M-W puts it as the last, and therefore newest, of the intransitive meanings of the verb:
intransitive verb

1 : to embark on a ship
2 a : to go or travel by ship often used with outb : to proceed by ship or other means under military orders often used with out

3 : to engage to serve on shipboard
4 : to be sent for delivery

Best Donna Richoux
I ordered a few items online last night. The email I received just now says, in its Subject line, "Your ... type. (So how about "was" instead of "has"? Not perfect, perhaps, but surely better than "has" alone, don't you think?)

I see this often and usually I am sufficiently satisfied with the situation that I skip over the usage describing the situation. But then Maria, the passive is so, well, passive, isn't it?

Good luck and good sailing.
s/v Kerry Deare of Barnegat
http://kerrydeare.home.comcast.net /
M-W puts it as the last, and therefore newest, of the intransitive meanings of the verb: intransitive verb 1 : ... 3 : to engage to serve on shipboard 4 : to be sent for delivery

Odd that it omits "to send for delivery", which is much more familiar to me than 4.
David
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