enablement vs. enabling

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
The version below you now read is "the tech-industry's enabling of U.S. militarism" (this version is published on the home page of Scientific American today), while the version I printed on October 16 is different: "tech-industry enablement of U.S. militarism." It's apparent that the author or an editor has edited it.

The question of this thread is why "enabling" is better than "enablement"? (To simplify the question, let us not consider why "'s" is added and "the" is left out).

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Antiwar Movement Spreads among Tech Workers
Engineering students join Google and Microsoft workers in protesting the tech-industry's enabling of U.S. militarism
Resistance to U.S. militarism is growing in an unlikely place, the tech industry. The New York Times reported last week that at “Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as at tech start-ups, engineers and technologists are increasingly asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or for military projects in the United States or elsewhere.”


Source: Scientific American
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I’m just guessing here but I suspect that enablement is one of those duplicate words which tend to be invented by AE speakers - they want a noun derived from a verb (or the opposite), and because they don’t know it they create it using one of the standard mechanisms for creating nouns from verbs. Such words tend to be viewed as poor style by careful speakers, so probably an editor came along and improved (in his/her view and mine) the original.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you.

    I’m just guessing here but I suspect that enablement is one of those duplicate words which tend to be invented by AE speakers
    Well, it is indeed that enablement can not be found in the online etymology dictionary. But Cambridge Dictionary has listed it:

    enablement
    noun [ U ] UK /ɪˈneɪ.bəl.mənt/ US /ɪˈneɪ.bəl.mənt/
    the process of making someone able to do something, or making something possible:
    It's about the enablement of man's creativity through machinery.
    the process of providing a particular type of equipment or technology, or the necessary or correct system, device, or arrangement to use it:
    If UK English authorities have accepted it, then is it really poor still?
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Dictionary compilers simply list words which are in use - most entries do not include style guidelines. The fact that it only appears in some dictionaries indicates that it is a less common word than « enabling ». Being included or not in a dictionary tells us nothing about whether the word is liked or disliked by teachers, editors, etc.
     
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