Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 11:18:25 -0500
From: Mark Mandel
Subject: the incendiary "incent"

About a year ago, as the company linguist, I received a call from some people
having a meeting over in the Sales
Department. Someone had proposed using this word in a memo, someone else had
objected, and they decided to seek
an expert judgement. (This sort of thing happens to me here with some

I shuddered at the word, but the context really called for something more
concise than the VERB + "incentive" + "to" [+
Ind.Obj.] constructions. After a few moments' thought I suggested "incentivize",
which I felt and said was acceptable
only in comparison with (for me, *)"incent": at least it is derived by an
existing and widespread process.

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 796-0267
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :