sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sun Jul 2 22:54:17 UTC 2006

>Our Sage Hen Alison Murie (not a cock of any kind. Fnord) inquired:
> Does this mean I *shouldn't* write to my local npr station to ask their
>announcers/news reporters to notice that "preventive" does not have four
> <<<
>To which Larry noted:
> Well, they'd probably note (at least I would if I were they) that while
>"preventive" does indeed have just three syllables, "preventative" has four.
> <<<
>And Alison replied:
>Yeah, sure.  But why?   Preventate ??!  Preventation?!?  I see that OED
>(against my expectation) has an entry for "preventative," but I don't get
> <<<
>By analogy to such words as "administrative" and "curative". If you haven't
>studied Latin (and too few have in these degenerate days), the rules
>governing related forms are almost impossible to cipher out:
>administer ~ the deprecable back form* "administrate"
>sensitive (schwa written with 'i' not 'a')
>sensor (not *sensator or *sensitor)
>(curation, in technical use only, and in a different sense so not clearly
>part of the same set)
>curator (in lay use but also a different sense)
>Of these four, only the "narr-" set is superficially regular. So what's a
>native speaker to do? It *is* confusing. Arme Narr.
>m a m
>* No, I've never heard/seen anyone else use it. "'It's a joke, son.'"
Um. Okay, I get the idea, but it still doesn't satisfy me.  No Latinist I,
with only two years (Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres  (?)  &c.) back
in the Pleistocene when I was in highschool, but even I know that these
matters are linked to Latin roots.  That MIGHT make* preventitive*
possible, but* preventative?*   It did occur to me that *representative*
could be the model in people's minds, but that derives from an -are verb,
whereas * prevent* derives from an -ire verb.  So.............?
{ BTW, we call the opp sex of sagehen "grouse. "  On the Cock thread,
no-one who has ever kept chickens could be in any doubt about the
appropriateness of considering a cock to be a symbol of sexuality.
Roosters whole existence  seems to be wholly given over to strutting,
bragging and chasing hens.]

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