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Subject:Re: While we're on the topic of words . . . From:Fred Wersan <wersan -at- ZEUS -dot- MA30 -dot- BULL -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 3 Feb 1994 11:45:47 EST
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I've never liked "pro-active" either, ....
Do we dare ask where this term came from?
University of Delaware
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I think this is one of the "opposite" words that have been manufactured in
recent years. People see a word that starts with what appears to be a prefix
and assume there is an opposite word that starts with the opposite prefix or
without a prefix at all.
So reactive leads to proactive.
Uncouth generates couth.
If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress? Congress. etc.
I think the proper term is back formation.
Some of these creations are useful and get used without complaint. Some are
obnoxious and folks like us complain, but can't do much to stop it.
Some are what I call Haigisms in honor of our former Sec'y of State.
Bull HN Informations Systems
300 Concord Rd.
Billerica, Mass. 01821
f -dot- wersan -at- bull -dot- com