Pro's and Con's

This formerly read-only archive of threads dates back to 1996, but as of March 2007 is open to new postings. For technical reasons, the early dates shown do not accurately reflect the actual date of posting.

Feel free to add new postings to any of the existing threads in the archived forums, but please create any new language-related threads in one of the Language Discussion Forums.
Post Reply

Pro's and Con's

Post by John Barton » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:52 pm

Journalism seems to abhor 'small majorities' and 'large minorities'. And tries to convince us that motives must always be "ulterior". I imagine myself trying to convince a court that 'my motives were purely citerior' - an almost obsolete but very useful opposite found in the OED. As also cis- (montane etc) versus ultramontane. With 'trans-(Himalayan, etc) strictly meaning across rather than beyond.

In contrast, they love citing the 'pro's and con's' of every debate.
Perhaps 'conversely' needs an opposite 'proversely'. But of course the suffixes pro- and con- are very unreliable in practice. Thus congress is not always the opposite of progress. Nor constitution of prostitution. Take:
confuse/profuse, confusion/profusion
convoke/provoke, convocation/provocation
and many more.

And why does the victim always have to be lying 'prone' on the floor, even when face up (i.e. supine)?
Signature: John Barton, New Plymouth, New Zealand

Re: Pro's and Con's

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:00 am

John, I have a friend who's a pro artist.

Ken – September 11, 2013

Re: Pro's and Con's

Post by Phil White » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Hi John,

Long time no see!

Lovely spot, although it is, as I'm sure you are aware, based on a false prefix.

The opposite of "pro" in pro's and con's is "contra", of which "con" is a contraction (conction???) in that phrase only.

Still a nice thing to play with, though.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: Pro's and Con's

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:41 pm

I once heard of an ex-con who became a pro.

Ken – September 20, 2013

Post Reply