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The opposite of synergy

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (1 of 8), Read 164 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, January 20, 1999 02:28 PM

Dan Piette, of Houston, Texas, writes: "I am searching for an antonym of 'synergy.' Synergy is usually the reason companies use for merging, but the opposite of synergy (where the whole is SMALLER than the sum of the parts) is the more common result. I wish that we had a word for it. Any help?"

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (2 of 8), Read 152 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Harris (mth1234@yahoo.com)
Date: Friday, January 22, 1999 02:13 PM

Using the pairs sythesis/antithesis, sympathy/antipathy, and synonym/antonym as precedents, I think antinergy will serve.

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (3 of 8), Read 156 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, January 22, 1999 02:45 PM

'antinergy' fails just a bit etymologically; anti-ergy gives you the "working against" elements you want, so just drop the extra vowel (as in antonym) and you have: antergy
(which gives a nice image of everyone scurrying around accomplishing little).

[for some reason this reminds me of the wonderfully worthless word
formication]

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (4 of 8), Read 122 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Thomas Mcloughlin (tmclough@erols.com)
Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 06:47 PM

Ironically, the question contains the answer. (Is there a word for that?)

My colleagues and I routinely refer to the opposite of synergy as "synergy".

Written with the quotes or, more commonly, muttered with eyebrow quotes, we use (and experience) "synergy" far more frequently
in our business than synergy.

Tom McLoughlin
Basking Ridge, NJ


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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (5 of 8), Read 115 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dan Piette (piette@wt.net)
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 1999 10:35 AM

I want to give credit where credit is due. I first asked Judy Pinger, a librarian in Milwaukee to give me a hand with this. She could find no exact answer, but suggested "antigy" or "obsygy". I thought that "dysergy" would work, but too hard to pronounce. (Though I, too, have used "synergy" with quote marks as mentioned below)

Dan Piette

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (6 of 8), Read 64 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Cameron Buster (crs.stone@connriver.net)
Date: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 11:49 PM

How about lessergy (not to be confused with lethargy though a point could be made for a connection...)

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (7 of 8), Read 54 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: TeeGee Dee (tgd100@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, February 04, 1999 01:41 AM

How about unergy?

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Topic: 7) The opposite of synergy (8 of 8), Read 47 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Spall (mspall@usa.net)
Date: Thursday, February 04, 1999 02:54 PM

I think negative synergy is the answer. I think antergy is possible but might imply complete cancellation as in antagonistic effect or antagonist. But then we should also consider whether we should invent a whole new word, like antergy, when antagonistic effect or antagonism might suffice.

from
http://www.lifeservices.com/glssry-s.htm#synergy
synergy-when chemicals or drugs are used together, they may show negative or positive synergy. Positive synergy occurs when the sum of the effects of chemicals acting together is greater than the additive effects of the individual chemicals. Negative synergy occurs when the sum of effects of the mixture is less than that of the individual components of the mix. Antioxidant mixtures commonly exhibit positive synergy, although negative synergy can also occur.

from http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/search/dict-search.phtml?title=antagonistic+effect
antagonistic effect- This is the consequence of one chemical (or group of chemicals) counteracting the effects of another chemical; the opposing chemicals cancel out each other's effects.

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Topic: The Opposite of synergy (1 of 1), Read 59 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Judith Pinger (jpinger@execpc.com)
Date: Sunday, January 24, 1999 11:36 AM

If the latin prefix for -syn is translated literally as "with", and concomitantly the latin prefix for -ob means "against", wouldn't "Obsergy" be an acceptable antonym?

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Topic: Opposite of synergy (1 of 1), Read 41 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Bill O'Connor (billoc@brinet.com)
Date: Sunday, January 24, 1999 05:42 PM

Bows to Mark and Mike.

I came also to -antergy- by following the same reasoning from Mark to Mike.

Bill


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