Thursday, April 8, 2010

You say Tomato, I say Tomato

Preventive/Preventative....which is righter?

WikiAnswers says:

== Answer == I vote for preventive, although they can both be used. Why throw in the 'ta' if it is not needed?
It seems that "preventive" is indeed the better option, as long as you're using it as an adjective. For use as a noun, I would say that "preventative" works better. For example, "Airbags act as a preventive measure for automobile accident fatalities. Indeed, they are a commonly used preventative." that would imply "prevention" better than "preventatation"

The Oxford English Dictionary seems to prefer "preventive." The suffix -ive carries the meaning of "having a tendency to, having the nature, character, or quality of, given to (some action)". The suffix -ative carries a similar meaning, but it is less common. To my ear, "preventative" would be the adjectival for the non-existent verb "preventate."

All I know for sure is that Prevenative is wronger!

ps Lawn mo?


  1. Ah, the musings of the English language. I am foreigner and make tons of mistakes, so to me it sounds all the same.;))
    Have a lovely weekend, hopefully with less pollen,

  2. It's much like the commonly-heard "orientated" in place of "oriented." Thanks for learning me how to talk good. ;)

  3. Funny what some people do to the English language.

  4. prevented for me. oooh i love that song, you say tomato and i say tomato...great.

  5. This is so fantastic !! I enjoyed this post !!

  6. English is an incredibly difficult language, filled with nuance and double or triple or quadruple meanings...there, their, they're or hear, here or not, nought, knot, naught...makes the head turn or tern!

  7. My spelling is horrible, I love spell check! My grammer is not that great either! I use run on sentences and I know I break/brake so many other rules! I took English for 12 years!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    denise it is really Denise, but I love the look of the small d again, another rule broken!

  8. I seem to notice more and more people actually using the word "funnest". SIgh.

    Thanks so very much for my sweet birthday wish. I had a lovely one.

  9. Ha Ha - that's funny. I remember growing up near a business that obviously lost letters through the years that weren't replaced. It was a hoot to read the stuff they would come up with to get their message up there.

  10. LOL! I live in Brooklyn - the land of accents and jumbled English and spelling...everything makes sense to me!

  11. At least there were no misplaced apostrophes! We can all be thankful for that!


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