Words that start with the prefix re or pro

Respice Prospice

Respice prospice, (Latin: look backwards look forwards, pr: respicky prospicky) was the motto of my school, Ayr Academy. The school was founded in 1233 and moved to its present location in Fort Street in 1800. Seven hundred and seventy seven years provides plenty material on which to look back, but what I'm remembering today is that motto, and the school song, also called Respice Prospice. A strange song, it is an arranged marriage between not a bad poem and not a bad tune, each hopelessly unsuited to the other. But enough of that.

Today, in a quirky tribute to my Latin and English teachers and in the spirit of art for art's sake, I'm pleased to invite you to join me in an aimless ramble through a few more word pairs that use the re & pro prefixes.

Progress

Progress - to go forward. How much more optimistic, even the sound of progress. How much more natural. It's what every child wants, new skills, new strength, new courage. It is the soul of true education. Progress is nothing less than the intuitive life force of individuals, societies, nations, humanity. Stasis stultifies. Regress, as we've seen, is not an option. We're moving on!

Regress

Regress - to go back. One of the saddest words in the language, tinged with the sound of regret, and the sense of mission incomplete, of failure. For backwards is the path that is always closed to us. We can't unbomb Iraq; we can't even unboil an egg. Be not swayed by those who would turn the clock back. Their golden time, if it ever existed, is gone, just as 'the snows of yesteryear' will not return.

Regress and progress strain in a tug-of-war relationship with each other, action and reaction, yin & yang. But some re & pro pairs are less simply related, for example:

Prospect

Prospect - a looking forward. Always an exciting concept, because of the built in uncertainty. The prospect drives the project. The prospect is the imagination, the invention, the future. The project is the grunt-work. The realisation, Project, of course, is itself a pro word, literally a throwing forward, with its opposite, reject, a throwing back. Return to sender, address unknown...

Respect

Respect is such a 'whole word' in its own right, that we might barely notice that it is made of two parts, the same two parts as our original respice, in fact. For what is respect but a looking back (or again) over a life, giving credit for achievement, effort, perhaps even endurance? Respect then becomes a valuing of life's journey, in view of which its antithesis, disrespect, is the badge of the superficial.


That song again

When the notion takes me, I'll maybe expand on a few more re & pro pairs. In the meantime, I have a burning urge to see if I can remember all the words of the old school song:

Respice Prospice

Respice, prospice. Backwards our thoughts go
To years that are hid in the mists of the past.
The school by the Ayr and the wind driven sand dunes,
Our Scots youth have thronged from the first to the last.

Celtic and Saxon, Pictish and Norman
Have mingled the strain that has made us today
Courage they gave us, enduring endeavour
Strong wills to brace us in work and in play

Floruit semper, Academia!

Prospice, respice. Forwards our thoughts go
To what God shall send us in long years to be
In homeland or far land, young now no longer
Questing glad venture on land and at sea.

Age cannot stale thee, nor years ever rob us
Of memories stored in the noontide of youth
Still may our thoughts of thee, on to life's ending
Keep our feet steadfast in hope, love and truth.

Floreat semper, Academia!


That would seem to be all of it, give or take the odd punctuation mark. They must have drummed it well into me, half a century ago. But I think I've quested enough glad venture for one day.

Thank you for reading!

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Comments 40 comments

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

repel, propel? reduce, produce? Strange how words have negative and positive connotations, all because of a prefix.

And you're from Bobbie Burns land - been to one of those 'an' all that' festivals there.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Shalini - and recreate/procreate, relapse/prolapse - there are so many. Burns made a big mistake with "But och, I backwards cast my e'e / on prospects drear". Or else he was deliberately playing with retrospectively looking forwards. Maybe :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I pro nounce that you are a good story teller

I Re mind you that there are yet memories to be told

I pro claim that we hubbers like history

I pre dict another story coming soon

Thank You and God Bless


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

always exploring - I think that's quite a safe prediction! Thanks for visiting :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

We have been looking for you, believe it or not. Or at least for someone who can help us with Latin. We have been searching for a motto for a coat of arms spoof and because we could not find the words to describe "between straying and going, we run like hell" we ended up with "vini vidi fugi" which was a Shalini's recommendation. But I miss "run like hell" as it better describes a coward. Any chance you might have a look at http://hubpages.com/art/For-those-who-helped-with-... and give us the benefit of your Latin please?


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Never thought about re and pro. Interesting. You went to a posh school then lol.

I did latin for a couple of years at a comprehensive school. It was both fascinating and confusing.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Ethel - traditional Scottish academy, no fees, not posh like the private schools, but admission by eleven-plus exam!

De Greek - I saw the discussion in a forum too, I think, but my Latin is only to O-level, and mostly forgotten!


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Great Poem


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Thanks John - I'd like to credit the author but don't remember the name.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I re-commend this Hub as a grammatical lesson of pro-jective Triumph:)!!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

They'd dropped Latin from the curriculum by the time I pitched up at my comprehensive school, but I always wish I'd studied it at least a little. Respect, prospect. Reduce, produce. Hmm, interesting how just a couple of letters can change the whole meaning.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Mentalist acer - many thanks :)

Amanda - I enjoyed Latin and would have liked to take it past O Level, but opting for Science, there weren't enough periods left, so it had to go.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

Interesting. Leave it to you to make something cool like this. I like the reflections. How about Reduce and Produce. Depending on what is being reduced or produced either is either better or worse. :P


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

You're right - there's nothing intrinsically better about the pros than the res, but they do carry more optimism, through association and sheer euphonics (though much of that is association too, albeit under a chicken & egg influence).


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

You and I must need an omlette or something today.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

I'm in the process of stewing some beef with carrots, onions, garlic, ginger and red chillies. Plus red wine in the gravy. The smell's ready but the meat needs another half hour...


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Wow - based on your last comment, wish I could join you for dins!

I really enjoyed reading this Hub. The mottoes of the two high schools I attended were "Per Ardua" and "Fiat Lux"! Maybe I will reflect on them awhile!

Love and peace

Tony


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

You'd be very welcome - it was good too, finished now but I can easily knock up another!

There's something about Latin and old school mottoes. Thanks Tony :)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Very interesting hub. I hadn't thought about the changing of positive to negative by changing a couple of letters.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

KKG - unfortunately, it doesn't always work! Thanks for the read :)


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland

How about 'red' and 'prod'

Mmm Yes! I'll get me coat, can you phone me a taxi?

I'll recede into the background and proceed out the door.

Now they're opposites aren't they? But with different spelling, aside from the obvious prefixes of course :-)

Great Hub paraglider


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

red & prod - love it!! Or rep & prop, but rep's a dubious word. Thanks for the visit :)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Very nice write Sir as always! You forgot - "recycle" -to ride your bike again!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Micky - I knew I could depend on you to provide that one!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I said this is awesome, thanks for the education,

Oh that was an old school and the song of the school doesn't make sense now because of time, maybe,

I like how you explained the words... respect, prospect

Maita


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Maita - very old school, but the song is probably only around 70 years old - a mere upstart ;)


kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

ok

produce, reduce? already done? i try. sigh :)

Enjoyed this hub very much actually, very smart.

Thank you

Kimberly


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Thanks Kimberley. It's a bit different from my usual fare but it was fun to write.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Most excellent fare indeed - toothsome re-flections and pro-ceeds for body and spirit. Thanks for an enlightening and engaging sojourn.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi RedElf - or an exercise in writing something about nothing more substantial than itself, maybe ;) Thanks for the visit!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed this little Hub, friend. I will point out that all progress is not good progress. For instance, Hitler made a lot of progress from 1933 to 1943. If a country goes from 11% to 40% children born out of wedlock, and if this proves to disrupt society and be a huge predictor of poverty, it can be called progress I suppose. When cattle goes up the hallway to where that bullet gets fired into their skulls, they progress up the ramp.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Yes, but if your introducing Hitler into a whimsical and lightweight hub where he has no place was an attempt to provoke, you might wish to revoke it ;)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I thought the cattle was whimsical. Somewhat. :D


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

OK -

Cattle, 1 : Hitler, 0

:)


Agnes Reichstein (nee Nicol) 4 years ago

STudent at the Academy 1949 - 1953. Left because parents emigrated to Australia. A wonderful school full of happy memories.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Agnes - I wasn't far behind you. I started in '57. After three years, they closed 'the preps' or junior school and moved us to Ayr Grammar. But I was back at the Academy after my eleven-plus exam and right through to 6th year. It was a good school, full of characters and opportunities.


Gordon Mackenzie 2 years ago

Hi Paraglider, I was searching for the words of the old school song "Respice Prospice" and found it on your blog! What year were you in. I was at Ayr Academy 1963 to 69, 2 years with J.D. "Joe" Cairns and 4 with Neil McCorkindale as rector. We must have been almost contemporaries


Gordon from Ayr profile image

Gordon from Ayr 2 years ago from Roskilde, Denmark

Back again, signed in this time. Gordon from Ayr, now living in Roskilde, Denmark, enjoying your hubs which I just discovered. All the best for now, Dave.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Gordon - I think I must have been one year behind you. One year of Joe and 5 of Neil. I left for Glasgow Uni in 1970 and for the last 10 years have been living /working in Dubai and Qatar. Good to hear from you!


Gordon from Ayr 2 years ago

Right. I left in 69. Physics BSc and PhD at Edinburgh then eventually ended up here in Dennark with several years of Africa along the way. Respice Prospice indeed. Cheers.

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