prepare against

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,
"To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.“

Source: To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be…

I know that "prepare for" is standard but "prepare against" is also used in some context as above.
It seems to me that the passage says that there's two kinds of "surprise":to be upset and to notice a wonder. To not get upset you need exercise but to notice the wonder of nature you need a humble mind.
So "prepare against" can carry nuances of not wishing something to take place that comes after "against."
Am I right?
Thanks in advance.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes, you can be "prepared against" something negative, although "prepared for" is far more common. You wouldn't say "I'm prepared against my guests" but you might say "I'm prepared against invasion."
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There are only a few examples out there with the OP's sense, although the vast majority of citations in the Ngrans have a different meaning (preparing an antiserum against an antigen :))
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Can you see the graph at site I linked to (the word examples is in blue and is a link)? The phrase prepared for is about 400x more frequently used than prepared against. And the majority of the latter are to do with preparing antisera.
    Those that are not, are examples like in #2 - preparing against invasion etc.
     
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    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, JulianStuart.
    Of course I can see the link.
    What I am still not understanding is what difference in meaning you see between "prepare for" and "prepare against."
    I'm guessing it could be something that "prepare against" should be used to show a more negative attitude toward the thing after the "against".
    Could I have a comment?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you, JulianStuart.
    Of course I can see the link.
    What I am still not understanding is what difference in meaning you see between "prepare for" and "prepare against."
    I'm guessing it could be something that "prepare against" should be used to show a more negative attitude toward the thing after the "against".
    Could I have a comment?
    It was not clear what you were asking for comments on - one possibiity was because you could not see the link.
    The only time people seem to use "prepare against" has already been discussed - you suggested it i the OP and post #2 confirmed it. However, more people use prepare for rather than prepare against some future event whether good or bad. Perhaps because they think they might be misunderstood as being in favour of something bad (a separate meaning of for). I personally see no need to use "prepare against" (except in an immunology context :D).
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    It was not clear what you were asking for comments on - one possibiity was because you could not see the link.
    Why do you think so?
    It takes a few seconds to click the link and see the content.
    I did see the link and came up with an idea that "against" suggests an attitude more negative than "for" that shows an attitude more affirmative, which, in fact, is what I had already thought of when posting this thread.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Why do you think so?
    It takes a few seconds to click the link and see the content.
    I did see the link and came up with an idea that "against" suggests an attitude more negative than "for" that shows an attitude more affirmative, which, in fact, is what I had already thought of when posting this thread.
    It is quite common for people to miss links or not even have access to them. For me, if you can see the Ngram graph, it is self-explanatory and your request for comments suggested you hadn't seen it. That's all.

    And since you did see it, you have access to those citations of "prepared against" and (aside from antisera) that they almost invariably mean get ready for something bad that might happen, as you had suggested and was confirmed/answered in post #2.
     
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