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Aug 29, 2013
This week's theme
Words and Medicine

This week's words
apheresis
syncope
aspirate
prolepsis
agglutinate
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

prolepsis

PRONUNCIATION:
(pro-LEP-sis)

MEANING:
noun:
1. The use of a descriptive word in anticipation of the result. Example: The word hot in hot water heater.
2. The anticipation and answering of an objection or argument before it's raised. Also known as prebuttal.
3. The representation of an event before it actually happened. Example: He lost the game even before the match began.
4. The anachronistic representation of an event before its actual time. Also known as prochronism. Example: A depiction of people talking wirelessly over long distances in 18th century.
5. A literary technique in which the author drops hints of things to come. Also known as foreshadowing.
6. The return of a paroxysm of a periodic disease before its usual time or at progressively shorter intervals.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek prolepsis, from prolambanein (to anticipate), from pro- (before) + lambanein (to take). Earliest documented use: 1450.

USAGE:
"As preservationists and residents threatened with displacement join 're-open Charity' proponents, planners symbolically engage in prolepsis, rhetorically precluding opposing arguments with flash forward of supposedly 'done deals.'"
Anne Lovell; Debating Life After Disaster; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; Jun 2011.

"You have no right to interrupt the council's session, and such a dangerous prolepsis as this will not be allowed to change the debate."
Kim Stanley Robinson; Galileo's Dream; Spectra; 2009.

"The thought threw me into a vernal prolepsis, a mental flash-forward to spring."
Verlyn Klinkenborg; The Farm From Afar; The New York Times; Mar 22, 2013.

See more usage examples of prolepsis in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder. -English proverb

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