Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Jul 19 17:47:13 UTC 2004

On Jul 19, 2004, at 2:23 AM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "preventative"
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>>> Boston Sunday Globe, July 19, 2004, p.E11
>>> "... preventative services ..."
>>> Well,  an ounce of preventation is worth a pound of cure.
>> ca. 988,000 google web hits.  (compared to ca. 3,140,000 for
>> "preventive".)  it might not be your idea  of standard, but it's damn
>> common.  AHD4 lists "preventative" as an alternative to "preventive",
>> in fact.  MWDEU tells us that "The critics have panned _preventative_
>> for over a century, preferring its shorter synonym _preventive_ in
>> spite of the fact that both words have been around for over 300 years
>> and both have been in regular use by reputable writers."  there is
>> more, including the analogy to "authoritative" and "talkative".
>> also: ca. 3,610 hits for "preventation" (which i don't much like, but
>> there it is).

I had no idea that "preventation" was used so much that it has actually
appeared in print. In fact, until I read the post above, I truly
thought that _I_ had coined the term for the purpose of a cheap laugh
in my own post. As they say in similar situations on South Park, "God
damn it!" But, as you say, "there it is."

-Wilson Gray

> Similarly (I guess): "dilatation" vs. "dilation".
> -- Doug Wilson

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