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.

Take the following contrived sentence:

Our staff's productivity has doubled since we upgraded their computers.

And now this one:

Our staff's [rate of procrastination] has doubled since we gave them new smart phones.

Is there a single word to fit within the italicised section of the second sentence?

As you can see I initially was looking for some sort of form of the word "procrastinate", but "procrastination" doesn't sound like it fits properly on its own (does it?), and I don't think the word has a valid form that is equivalent to "productivity", by which I mean that: your productivity is a measure how much you produce, while [what?] is a measure of how much you procrastinate.

share|improve this question
    
I'm afraid I'm completely out of touch with tagging here, so someone please correct my stab in the dark tagging effort as necessary. –  DMA57361 Apr 13 '11 at 9:27
7  
Sorry. I meant to answer this question but I have to put it off till tomorrow. –  Robusto Apr 13 '11 at 10:14
4  
@Robusto: I propose robustivity, then. –  RegDwigнt Apr 13 '11 at 10:17
    
I think ADHD would be appropiate. ;-) –  oosterwal Apr 14 '11 at 20:31

7 Answers 7

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't think you need a word that includes "rate of"; you can just use procrastination.

Our staff's procrastination has doubled since we gave them new smart phones.

That said, this might work better with a slight rephrase:

Procrastination has doubled since we gave the staff new smart phones.

You can even rephrase the productivity sentence to match:

Productivity has doubled since we upgraded the staff's computers.

share|improve this answer
    
What about "Our production of P.R. statements has expanded four times since we gave our head of P.R. a new smartphone and a new assistant" ? –  ogerard Apr 13 '11 at 20:04
    
I like the way you think ogerard! :p –  Vincent Vancalbergh Jun 3 '13 at 12:01
    
I agree. I would go so far as to say rate is not an adjective that you would apply to procrastination at all. I think you are really trying to say amount of procrastination. And in @Martha's suggestion, procrastination implies amount, not rate. –  Henry74 Jul 16 at 20:47

I would modify the sentence rather than try to find a word that fits. You don't really think about doubling the lack of something. If anything, you might say, "The productivity has been halved since we gave them smart phones" since you can half productivity, but it's difficult to imagine doubling what would be the opposite of productivity.

share|improve this answer
3  
"You don't really think about doubling the lack of something." I am afraid it is quite common. Think of debt, for instance –  ogerard Apr 13 '11 at 20:01
    
I'm going to have to disagree with you. Debt represents negative money, though it's still a quantity of money you're talking about. If one person doesn't have it, another does. So doubling your debt means the amount of money owed by you is doubled. Procrastination is a concept which can't be measured by a number and therefore can't really be doubled without some context added. –  Neil Apr 14 '11 at 9:50
    
you are right recalling procrastination is an evasive notion by essence. If it is difficult to quantify, it does not make great sense to double or halve. –  ogerard Apr 14 '11 at 10:17

I'm not sure the words are a proper fit for "rate of procrastination" but I'd suggest slackness and sluggishness

slackness has this idiom that fits

cut/give (someone) some slack

To make an allowance for (someone), as in allowing more time to finish something

though in the case of procastinating, one gives oneself some slack

share|improve this answer
    
I like sluggishness: works get done but more slowly, activity is more diffuse and viscous. But I am afraid the original poster would like to have a more politically correct word at his disposal. –  ogerard Apr 14 '11 at 10:14

Our staff has achieved maximal velleity.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for teaching me such a useful word... –  Brian Hooper Apr 14 '11 at 17:19
    
On a related note, what about pusilanimity ? –  ogerard Apr 15 '11 at 16:18

The most direct antonym of "productivity" is "unproductivity."

That words sounds a little awkward to me however; another word is "idleness."

share|improve this answer
    
+1, the asker really seemed to be looking for antonyms of productivity. –  Patrick M Jul 12 at 15:16

You could try:

"Our staff's proclivity for cunctation has doubled since we gave them new smart phones."

share|improve this answer

The word I might use is "tardiness."

share|improve this answer

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.