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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...



 
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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #1 (permalink) Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:06 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
 

Hi

For me the word assistive is a bit tricky, even though sometimes I need to use it.

Here are the results of my quick online search:

On the one hand, many widely used (‘British’?) dictionaries give the main meaning of the word like this:
Quote:
Adj.1.assistive - giving assistance
helpful - providing assistance or serving a useful function

On the other side, the American Heritage Dictionary gives the only meaning:
Quote:
ADJECTIVE: Designed for use by disabled people: an assistive communications device; assistive technology.

and that is I actually need (in my context).
And the Wikipedia supports this special meaning.

My trouble is: if I use the word in the 'usual life' is there a risk that it can be taken in its second, special, meaning (where it sticks to actual disabilities)?

So, briefly: to me, 'assistive technologies' is a fixed expression - in the area I work (where it always is related to disabled people).
Just because of that I avoid using the word (in its first, 'neutral' meaning) in other contexts. Just afraid of being misunderstood.

And I need your validation.

P.S. On the third :) hand,
MS Word (Hi, Amy :)) doesn’t know the word, even though I’ve just copied a fragment of their tutorial ("Assistive Technology Products") from the Microsoft home website. :)
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Tamara
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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #2 (permalink) Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:17 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
 

Hi Tamara,

To me the word is a new one. I would say that its use from my very brief examination of it would likely be used only in the specialist sense in which you have used it.

A
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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #3 (permalink) Sun Dec 31, 2006 20:39 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
 

I agree with Alan here. I've heard it only in describing devices to help disabled people, or else in describing personnel who assist the disabled or elderly. I hear it so seldom that it took me a while to realize that I even knew the word.

Tamara, are you trying to match some particular Russian word? If so, can you give it to me?
Jamie (K)
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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #4 (permalink) Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:36 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
 

Hi Alan and Jamie

Thank you for your help (assistance :) )

Yes... My feeling is that the word 'assistive' would sound strange in 'usual life' if used as an equivalent to 'helpful' or 'supportive' (as some dictionaries describe).

Jamie, not actually 'some particular Russian word', but rather 'Russian way of thinking'. :)
This my question was caused by my (not asked in reality…) question to my son’s friend (a sixth-form student, as well) who has just got a/the (?) (part-time) Sales Assistant position in a local store.
When I was talking with him and greeting him (the first job :)) I was tempted to ask him something like 'And what? How assistive were you during your first working day?' – just playing with the word 'assistant', impromptu - but didn’t ask the question.

And asked it here, instead :)
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Tamara
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'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #5 (permalink) Mon Jan 01, 2007 13:19 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
 



    Maybe you could have used the word 'assisting' instead.

      Conchita
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      'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #6 (permalink) Mon Jan 01, 2007 13:46 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
       

      Tamara wrote:
      When I was talking with him and greeting him (the first job :)) I was tempted to ask him something like 'And what? How assistive were you during your first working day?' – just playing with the word 'assistant', impromptu - but didn’t ask the question.

      You could get away with that question as word play. It would be understood and probably be taken as a joke.
      Jamie (K)
      I'm a Communicator ;-)


      Joined: 24 Feb 2006
      Posts: 6771
      Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

      'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #7 (permalink) Mon Jan 01, 2007 16:28 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
       

      Thanks, Jamie.

      OK... As usual, my main problem (in the context of those risky language experiments :) ) is to find people who can surely distinguish my poor English and a joke.
      :)
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      'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky... #8 (permalink) Mon Jan 01, 2007 16:48 pm   'Assistive' - the word is a bit tricky...
       

      Tamara wrote:
      OK... As usual, my main problem (in the context of those risky language experiments :) ) is to find people who can surely distinguish my poor English and a joke.
      :)

      Sometimes you can have fun with that situation. I used to say completely outrageous things in Czech by pretending to confuse two words, or pretending to misunderstand the meaning of words, and I got great satisfaction from Czech people's reactions.
      Jamie (K)
      I'm a Communicator ;-)


      Joined: 24 Feb 2006
      Posts: 6771
      Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

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