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Topic: 5) Move it up (1 of 11), Read 88 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 08:50 AM

Robert D. Werner, of Wallingford, Conn., writes, "I'm sitting in New Delhi (which I visit frequently on business) finishing the November issue of The Atlantic Monthly that I brought with me. I think you would be the appropriate person to opine on the word 'prepone.' This appears to be an Indianism -- not in any recognized dictionary of English that I know of. In one sense the word is logical -- it means the opposite of 'postpone.' However, I have yet to find anyone other than an English-speaking Indian who has ever heard of the word, far less used it. The odd person I've queried was able to derive the meaning. I'd be interested in knowing if you've heard of the word or aware of its use outside India."

Here's what I, Barbara, have to say about it: "Prepone" doesn't appear in the new Encarta World English Dictionary, which makes a point of including usages standard in places other than the United States. I don't believe there's any clear evidence that the word is established anywhere. But let's find out if anyone in the worldwide Word Fugitives Bureau of Investigation has been hearing this word. Folks?


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Topic: 5) Move it up (2 of 11), Read 89 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 09:51 AM

It might take an "odd person" to derive the meaning; so here I go!

If prepone is the opposite of postpone, it must mean to do something before the time it is planned to be done. We preponed the decision. would mean that the decision had already been made before any consideration was given to the question.

The meaning might be related to that of the word preempt. It might also be self-initiated; which would explain how something happened before a group formally decided that it should.

If that's it, then I've preponed a lot of things in for the sake of saving a group from making flawed decisions. When I show up for the meeting to discuss the question, I present the results instead.

If you hadn't called the opposite of postpone, I might have thought that preponing something might make you a preponent of that something.

Other interesting words I wish to prepose, perhaps presented in preposition (chuckle). I'm not one to precastinate; I presup-hose (hic!) you'll be interested.

propine (noun): Scottish : a gift in return for a favor; In southern trailer parks, a traditional propane is a traditional propine. (Note: Both words prenounced the same way. Extra note: Bill Clinton's neck of the woods.)

propine (transitive verb)
Inflected Form(s): pro·pined; pro·pin·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French propiner, from Latin propinare to present, drink to someone's health, from Greek propinein literally, to drink first, from pro- + pinein to drink -- more at POTABLE Date: 15th century chiefly Scottish : to present or give especially as a token of friendship

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Topic: 5) Move it up (3 of 11), Read 78 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 01:50 PM

I've seen this used somewhere, used in the sense of rescheduling something earlier in time -- not exactly what I'd call the "opposite" of postpone. But I am unable to remember where I saw it; as it is an "Indianism", perhaps it was in the writing of Salman Rushdie.... :-)

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 5) Move it up (4 of 11), Read 70 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 08:57 AM

That does seem sort of an opposite to postpone. Moving something "forward" in the schedule rather than "back."

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Topic: 5) Move it up (5 of 11), Read 69 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 11:12 AM

re: oppositeness

sure, esp. if rescheduled in regard to precedence or importance -- I was probably thinking along the lines of rescheduling vs. not...

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Topic: 5) Move it up (6 of 11), Read 64 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Maura Fay (bradandmaura@mediaone.net)
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 10:45 PM

There is a sign for this concept in American Sign Language, meaning to change the date/time of something to earlier than originally planned. When trying to write that idea in English, I always use the word 'prepone'. To say it in English: "The meeting was supposed to start at 2:00, but Barbara had another commitment at 3:00, so we arranged to prepone the meeting to 1:00."
Make sense?

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Topic: 5) Move it up (7 of 11), Read 64 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999 04:19 AM

To postpone is to delay. The opposite is to advance. We advanced step 4, or moved step 4 forward in the schedule.

But I agree with the etymology in constructing the word prepone. pone is to place, more in the sense to move something as I understand it. If you can pone something post (away -- meaning away from the time it is now in postpone; i.e. later) then you should also be able to move it in time in the other direction.

pre- : earlier than : prior to

So ok, there's the details.

Maybe the first definition I gave would be to antepone, pripone, or a prioripone.

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Topic: 5) Move it up (8 of 11), Read 60 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999 10:32 AM


>But I agree with the
>entomology in constructing the
>word prepone.

excuse me, but what's the study of insects got to do with this?
8-D

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Topic: 5) Move it up (9 of 11), Read 58 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999 05:41 PM

Why, Michael, it's obvious. Didn't he say "antepone"?

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Topic: 5) Move it up (10 of 11), Read 56 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999 10:17 PM

>Didn't he say "antepone"?

and I say to that, corn pone.
:-̃

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Topic: 5) Move it up (11 of 11), Read 36 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Saturday, November 20, 1999 06:28 AM

The word 'prepone' is found in The New Oxford Dictionary of English, published 1998. It is listed as being Indian (from India) and is defined as: to bring forward to an earlier date or time. Example given: The publication date has been preponed from July to June. Surprisingly, its origin according to New Oxford is the 1970's! It would be interesting to hear a bit more about the word being used in the sign language. Has it been in use long? How did it appear? Just getting back into things again, Dorothy

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Topic: prepone (1 of 1), Read 24 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Susan Rao (susanrao@hotmail.com)
Date: Thursday, November 25, 1999 04:44 PM

My husband, who is Indian, says he often heard educated Indians use the word "prepone", although he doesn't use it himself. I lived there for two years, and I remember seeing it in the press.


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