Fifty years ago a writer would have been taken to task for using this word in the sense of 'remove'. A place could properly be said to be evacuated, but not the people in it. This is no longer so, but the word is too much used by official writers, and everyone who finds himself using it should pause and consider whether some more commonplace word (such as remove) would not serve his purpose better.
Why, for instance, should we be told that British residents in a disturbed foreign country have been advised to evacuate their children? When the simple verb 'send away' is available, why choose one which reference to the dictionary shows to have the following primary meanings?:
To clear out the contents of
To relinquish the occupation of (of an army)
To make void
To get rid of a disease or humour
To void, discharge,
To pump out, leaving a vacuum.
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