Purposeful omission is the leaving out of particular nonessential details that can be assumed by the reader, (if used in literature), according to the context and attitudes/gestures made by the characters in the stories. It allows for the reader to make their own abstract representation of the situation at hand.
In the book Why We Fought: America's Wars in Film and History, author Peter Rollins mentions that war movies in the US have purposely omitted some facts so as to make it acceptable to the Pentagon. In their book Representing Lives: Women and Auto/biography, Alison Donnell and Pauline Polkey discuss the difficulty of judging the authenticity of accounts of violence against women when these accounts are made by women in position of prestige and power as such women are likely omit some details for their own image.
According to some authors, purposeful omissions are allowed to carry out the law in spirit and action. In the context of technology, the term is used to denote the avoidance of unwanted or unnecessary feedback.
- "purposeful omission". Webster's Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- Peter Rollins; John E. O'Connor (25 July 2008). Why We Fought: America's Wars in Film and History. University Press of Kentucky. p. 556. ISBN 978-0-8131-7297-2. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Alison Donnell; Pauline Polkey (2000). Representing lives: women and auto/biography. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-312-22667-1. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Kevin F. O'Malley; Jay E. Grenig; William C. Lee; Edward James Devitt; West Group (1999). Federal jury practice and instructions. West Group. p. 628. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Paul G. Spirakis; Marios Mavronicolas; Spyros Kontogiannis (2006). Internet and network economics: second international workshop, WINE 2006, Patras, Greece, December 15-17, 2006 : proceedings. Springer. p. 370. ISBN 978-3-540-68138-0. Retrieved 2 April 2012.