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  1. Ellie87

    progressive and processive

    I'm a English teacher and I have to make a difficult decision regarding a test answer.
    The correct answer for the question was " progressive" which is the antonym of the word "conservative". I intended "progressive" organization... but some of my students answered "processive". I don't think it's proper, but one of the dictionaries says that two words have the same meaning, which major dictionaries like Longman does not have.
    So I need your opinion, English users' real opinion about whether the word 'progressive' can be replaced by 'processive'
    I'll look forward to your kind replies, thanks.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: progressive and processive

    Stick to your guns.
    If you consider the base word, 'process': here, the idea of 'progression' is that of 'the course taken', so - "The funeral entourage processes down the Mall."- the funeral procession etc. And don't they always process down the Mall!

    Conservative has the meaning, 'aiming to preserve' from Latin conservativus, conservat- ‘conserved'
    'progression/progressive' has the sense of movement forward, in 'happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step'; and thence to incorporating the sense of 'change', and today, 'the favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas' and 'favoring or promoting change or innovation'.
    Merely 'processing' along traditional 'courses' lacks this impetus towards different goals, objectives.

    Mind you: you have quite a class, that they know the word 'processive'! Are they, in some way, in the field of advertising and marketing? Anyway, seize the moment to guide them into a deeper understanding of the subtle differences between words!
    Last edited by David L.; 13-May-2009 at 06:19.


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