use of prefix mis + verb

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sovi, May 30, 2011.

  1. Sovi Senior Member

    Considering that words as
    - misundrestood
    - mis-spell
    - mistake
    Can I use mis-produced or misproduced to indicate someting wrongly produced (a production mistake)?

    Thank you for your help
    Ciao :) SV
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  2. opalo Senior Member

    English - Scotland
    Misproduced is not good English. Use "defective" or "faulty".

    A defective component, or faulty component, has a defect or fault of some sort.
    If the problem is with the design, it is a design defect.
    If the problem is with the manufacture, it is a manufacturing defect.
  3. boozer Senior Member

    I think Sovi's question is actually more general and is about whether or not one can freely use the prefix mis- with any verb to form new verbs. :)

    If that is the question, the answer is, unfortunately, no. You can use the prefix only where its use is already established. You can, of course, add it to any verb but it will not sound right. On top of that, you can never be sure about the meaning of the new verb.

    For example, I understand "mis-produced" to mean "produced by mistake", not "produced faulty". Others will probably interpret it in their own ways different from mine.

    In short, I like your creative application of the language but coining new words is never easy. :) Although such words can be used humorously, I suppose. :)
  4. Sovi Senior Member

    Thank you both! :)
    Basically my question was a double question and I've got both answers... it came from a young colleague pointing out that "Wiktionary" lists "to misproduce", verb I didn't know about, and the point was if it can be used and if "mis" can be a prefix you can add to other verbs to create the meaning of faulty done.

    Now I'm sure I'm right in correcting it with faulty (faulty component) ;)
    SV :)
  5. Sedulia

    Sedulia Senior Member

    Paris, France
    **Literate** American English
    I don't agree that you can't invent the word "misproduced" to mean badly produced. I don't see any problem with that kind of inventive use. At first reading I understood the word as Sovi meant it to be understood. One of the glories of English is that invention of new words from roots is not prohibited by some sort of language academy.

    However, it's always dangerous for a non-native speaker to invent a word, and if you are using it in technical English, it's not a good idea, since the word is not defined. It's better to be more precise as Opalo says.
  6. boozer Senior Member

    That's really interesting, Sovi. Wiktionary does list "misproduce".

    Maybe someone else will like it... :)

    PS. I see Sedulia does like it. :)
  7. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    Even the Oxford English Dictionary (online) lists it, along with plenty of other mis-formations (ha ha) that you're unlike to run in to too often (miscommand, misdesire, mis-marrow, mis-season etc.)
  8. opalo Senior Member

    English - Scotland
    If someone said to me "This item is misproduced" I would almost certainly hear it as "This item is mass-produced." Ambiguities, clashes, and other problems are common with newly-invented words, and many of the most popular are very poorly chosen. The much-touted flexibility of English is not always to the language's benefit.

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