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.

Which words help convey the concept of being early?

Prompt is not exactly what I want, as it means "on time" in the context I am considering. If spring (the season) was a spirit and arrived two weeks early this year, and was content in doing so, how could I describe the idea that spring doesn't mind its ___ness (quality of being early)?

share|improve this question
1  
That's probably not a valid answer, just a suggestion : changing slightly the idea from early to quick would open more possibilities: quickness hastiness swiftness ? –  Alain Pannetier Φ Mar 16 '11 at 22:17
    
@Alain: that's an interesting suggestion! I like the way you think. Perhaps I could say "vernal celerity." Many thanks. –  sova Mar 30 '11 at 0:57
add comment

4 Answers 4

Timeliness or prematureness are probably too vague and spurious respectively.

Could I suggest removing the constraint that it is __ness and suggest "spring doesn't mind being an early bird," which might even have some pleasant connotations if spring is what is actually being written about.

share|improve this answer
    
as @JPmiaou posted, the usual noun form of premature is prematurity. –  Marthaª Mar 16 '11 at 21:12
    
@Martha indeed and thus spurious ;) –  dove Mar 16 '11 at 21:25
    
The early bird gets its name from being early from Winter (migrating back, before the Spring), I think, so although I like your suggestion, it hints to circularity in definition. –  sova Mar 30 '11 at 0:59
add comment

I like earliness best, but if you don't mind being a little on the fringe, you could try prepunctuality.

share|improve this answer
    
Thus far my favorite suggestion =] –  sova Mar 30 '11 at 1:02
add comment

What's wrong with earliness?

I suppose there's also forwardness, though that doesn't quite fit your example. Neither do untimeliness or prematurity.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Premature is a good alternative, though I'm not sure it lends itself to the noun form you desire. Consider the following phrasings:

Spring doesn't mind being premature.

or

Spring doesn't mind arriving prematurely.

EDIT: If you like the noun form, you can always use earliness as well.

share|improve this answer
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.