Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Advance or Advanced?

I’ve seen a number of notices recently that misuse the word advanced. Here’s an example from a physician’s office: “If you know that you are going to miss a medical appointment, please give at least a 24-hour advanced notice.” That should have been advance notice.

The adjective advanced means sophisticated, complex, or at a level higher than others. In graduate school, you might get an advanced degree. You could study advanced nuclear physics. Your great-grandfather is at an advanced age. Advanced thinkers do not accept simplistic solutions. Your five-year-old child has a more advanced vocabulary than other children her age.

The adjective advance means supplied ahead of time, or prior. You give your employer advance notice—notice before you quit. Before you reach a crisis in health, you give your physician an advance directive—don’t plug me into a machine if there’s no realistic chance of recovery. We appreciate advance warning when serious storms are approaching. Advance ticket sales often come with a discount.

Viewed side by side, advance warning is given before a crisis occurs; an advanced warning would be highly sophisticated—perhaps a holographic image projected into the sky. Advance warfare would impossibly involve armed conflict before the fighting broke out; advanced warfare might depend on laser technology or robots. An advance stage of cancer would be strangely pre-cancerous; an advanced stage of cancer would probably mean that death is imminent.


Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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