Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 14:27:18 -0400
From: Bryan Gick
Subject: incented to consult..

First, thanks for all the replies on the apostrophe's. I was interested to
see a bit more data supporting the [vowel]-'s observation...though, as is
so often true, I don't feel much more in the know than before.

Anyway, ll this talk about consulting reminds me of a possible "most
unnecessary" candidate for this year that I've been keeping my eyes out
for - one of the many such words to fall out of consultese (a dialect of

A consultant friend relatively new to the business told me she was writing
a business plan for her client. It generally received favorable reviews,
except that at several points in the text the client insisted that she use
the word "incent" (as in "PROPOSALS TO INCENT RENEGOTIATION," an example I
since saw on the web:
This is apparently a pretty new standard term.
Anybody have any thoughts on or experience with this one?

(of course, this back-formation certainly has precedent in other verbs
with nominal forms ending in -ive (collect/collective, relate/relative,
etc.), and does offer the advantage of replacing the unwieldy construction
"to provide/give/offer incentive," so I suppose it's not quite as
unnecessary as it might be..).