Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When should proxime and proximate be used? Can they be used both to mean spatial as well as temporal nearness? Are they being used differently in British and American English?

share|improve this question
3  
I've never seen proxime in English, except in Latin tags. Proximate is used only in formal English, in both spatial and temporal senses, and usually in some technical sense: "proximate cause" in law, "proximate marker" in linguistics. –  StoneyB Jan 15 '13 at 9:51
    
Also in biomed speak when talking about distal and proximate stuff, e.g., "proximate genotoxins, i. e. xenobiotics" and "a new tumor appearing < 2 cm proximate to the primary lesion". –  user21497 Jan 15 '13 at 10:16
    
proximate: ~in the neighborhood proxime: immediate neighbor. Neither seems to have inherent spatial or temporal connotations that limit usage. –  Kris Jan 15 '13 at 12:30
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Proxime is often defined only to have the sense of proximate that refers to the next or previous item in a series. If you want to be clear that you mean this sense, it may serve well.

It is however marked as obsolete in many dictionaries, so it may be best not to use it at all.

share|improve this answer
    
To be clear of means to avoid. –  jwpat7 Jan 15 '13 at 16:24
    
@jwpat7 thanks, that could be interpreted validly two different ways. I've edited to hopefully be clearer that I mean a reason to use it in the first sentence, though my reason for suggesting you don't in the second is stronger, IMO. –  Jon Hanna Jan 15 '13 at 16:28
add comment

Like Stoney, I have never seen proxime in English. But, then, I wasn't around in 1820...

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Just for grins I checked out the citations of proxime in the 1809-10 period. All but 4 were in Latin passages; the four were in works on logic, contrasting proxime (in italics) with remote, and glossing it as immediate. Checking every fifth page in the 1945-2000 results yielded only Latin results. –  StoneyB Jan 15 '13 at 20:58
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.