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Preempt

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Preempt

Postby Slava » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:59 am

Today's Good Word:

Dr. Goodword wrote:

• preempt •


Pronunciation: pree-emptHear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. To take priority or precedence over, to supersede, as federal law preempts state and local laws in the US. 2. To take some action that renders the plans of others moot or irrelevant, as to preempt criticism with a public apology. 3. To displace or interdict because of preeminence, as a news flash might preempt a regularly scheduled program on TV.

Notes: The English-speaking world has not settled on a correct spelling of this word. In addition to our spelling, two other proposals are out there: pre-empt and preëmpt—in all, three possible spellings of today's word. This word was created by backformation, a process by which a previously nonexistent stem is retrieved from what is perceived to be a derivation. Preempt was pulled out of preemption. Once this had occurred, two adjectives popped out of the same hat, preemptive and preemptory. Someone who preempts is a preemptor.

In Play: he second sense of today's Good Word probably preempts all others: "Tommy Gunn's plea of temporary insanity in court was preempted by a tape recording of him planning the crime." However, in today's technological age we cannot ignore the third sense above: "I hate it when school closing announcements preempt my favorite TV program, Duck Dynasty!"

Word History: Today's Good Word was created by combining pre- "before, pre-" + Latin emptio(n) "buying", the noun, based on the past participle, emptus "bought", of emere "to buy". The personal noun from this same verb is emptor, as in the phrase often used in English: caveat emptor "buyer beware". The root of word goes back to a Proto-Indo-European word em- "take", which also turns up in Russian imet', Czech mit, Serbo-Croatian imati, Polish miec, Macedonian ima—all meaning "have". (I would like now to preempt any complaints about my not doing so with this word of gratitude to Kathleen McCune of Norway for recommending today's Good Word.)
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Re: Preempt

Postby amandel » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:14 am

The word is actively used in Computer Science, with sense 3 (with a tinge of 1).
This is well explained in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemption_%28computing%29
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Re: Preempt

Postby Slava » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:17 am

Of the original noun there is also a fourth spelling, which could apply to the verb, as well. It is used in both a road and street name in my city: PreEmption.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Preempt

Postby MTC » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:49 am

In the most significant case of my legal career I defended a
county ordinance against a claim of preemption by state law,
losing on that particular issue, but ultimately winning the case
on other grounds after two trials, two trips to the court of administrative appeals, two trips to the state appellate court, and two refusals to review by the state Supreme Court. When most people hear the word "preemption" they think of Federal statutory or constitutional law preempting State law, but preemption can occur between other levels of law as well.
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Re: Preempt

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:41 pm

In my life preemption most often occurs when my wife interrupts whatever I am doing with what she requests I do. I have found putting her off is well-nigh impossible, so in my old age I just get up and do it.
pl
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