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Pridané: 16.08.2018
Autor: Andy BILLINGHAM
Kategória: 08/2018

Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI

Preventive. In fact this is not really a tricky word, because it follows the pattern of adjective-forming by adding the ending -ive to a verb, in this case to prevent (zabrániť, ochrániť), so then in Slovak you get ochranný (as in ochranné opatrenia, preventive measures, but also ochranné krídlo, protective wing), but not zábranný (because zábrana means inhibition). Some British English speakers use the form “preventative”, but I don't recommend it. In fact I'd say there's a tendency to drop syllables from the middle of words, e.g. Slovak transformátor, organizátor or synthetizátor becoming “transformer”, “organizer” and “synthesizer” in English. But it doesn't always work, viz. generátor, senátor or terminátor, which are still “generator”, “senator” and “terminator”.

Andy’s Wordshop

The tendency to shorten words in English is part of the bigger tendency to make the language more informal, especially in speaking, which is the primary form of the language (humans learn to speak first, and read and write much later). So instead of “is not” you say “isn't”, “are not” becomes “aren't”, and there's “wasn't/weren't”, “hasn't/haven't”, “can't”, “don't” and “won't”, and many others too which I know but I'm too lazy to write out. In colloquial (hovorová) English “I'm not”, “isn't” and “aren't”, and “hasn't” and “haven't” all become “ain't” or “in't”. Lengthening words makes them more formal, e.g. preventative. Another example is “to obligate”, which is a legal word meaning zaviazať niekoho zmluvou, zákonom, while the standard form “to oblige” means zaviazať niekoho láskavosťou, službou.

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