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  1. #1

    Question Preparedness for/against?

    I've been reading a lot about companies and governments preparing themselves to face a possible avian flu pandemic. The word "preparedness" occurs frequently in this context. Sometimes it's written as "preparedness for [a pandemic]" and sometimes as "preparedness against [a pandemic]". Which is the correct preposition to use? Thanks!

  2. DavyBCN's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Preparedness for/against?

    Quote Originally Posted by SW_SN View Post
    I've been reading a lot about companies and governments preparing themselves to face a possible avian flu pandemic. The word "preparedness" occurs frequently in this context. Sometimes it's written as "preparedness for [a pandemic]" and sometimes as "preparedness against [a pandemic]". Which is the correct preposition to use? Thanks!
    This really is an example of the construction of an unnecessary word - in my view. What is wrong with prepared and preparation?

  3. #3

    Talking Re: Preparedness for/against?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    This really is an example of the construction of an unnecessary word - in my view. What is wrong with prepared and preparation?
    Thank you for replying. I would like to discuss this a little more though.
    I agree to some extent, i.e. that the sentences can often be rewritten to incorporate "prepared" or "preparation" instead of "preparedness". But I wonder if this is possible all the time.
    The noun "preparedness" suggests a state of being prepared, measurable on some sort of scale - a meaning that the noun "preparation" doesn't convey since it would refer to actions taken to prepare for something.
    So, for instance, "X will improve the country's preparedness for/against an avian flu pandemic" could be interpreted differently from "X will improve the country's preparation for/against an avian flu pandemic".
    So in these cases where "preparedness" is used, would both "for" and "against" be correct or is one preferred over the other?

  4. DavyBCN's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Preparedness for/against?

    Quote Originally Posted by SW_SN View Post
    Thank you for replying. I would like to discuss this a little more though.
    I agree to some extent, i.e. that the sentences can often be rewritten to incorporate "prepared" or "preparation" instead of "preparedness". But I wonder if this is possible all the time.
    The noun "preparedness" suggests a state of being prepared, measurable on some sort of scale - a meaning that the noun "preparation" doesn't convey since it would refer to actions taken to prepare for something.
    So, for instance, "X will improve the country's preparedness for/against an avian flu pandemic" could be interpreted differently from "X will improve the country's preparation for/against an avian flu pandemic".
    So in these cases where "preparedness" is used, would both "for" and "against" be correct or is one preferred over the other?
    If you need to use preparedness then both for and against would be ok. I still really question the need for the word, as a state of preparation means the same thing, and is not as ugly as preparedness. I have the same problem with the word prepped. Why not stay with prepared?

    I am not against new words or developing language, but these are two pet hates of mine which seem absurd. The first is very much a political/media construction to try and give the impression of competence. Doens't work for me.

  5. #5

    Re: Preparedness for/against?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post

    If you need to use preparedness then both for and against would be ok. I still really question the need for the word, as a state of preparation means the same thing, and is not as ugly as preparedness. I have the same problem with the word prepped. Why not stay with prepared?
    I am not against new words or developing language, but these are two pet hates of mine which seem absurd. The first is very much a political/media construction to try and give the impression of competence. Doens't work for me.
    Hmmm... I see your point. I will remember this the next time I see that word. Thanks!
    The media industry especially loves to create/use words to shorten their sentences, e.g. "preparedness" replaces "state of preparation". I suppose it could be driven by the pressure of saying as much as possible in the given airtime or page allocation. And I do agree that it sometimes results in ugly and cumbersome language.

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