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Which of the two is more correct?

contributory capacity or contributive capacity

(referred to the capacity of a province in ancient Mesopotamia to contribute to state demand for foodstuffs)

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1 Answer 1

If we're going to use NGram to make the case here, it would be wise to check specifically for usages with "capacity". .

It's only my personal opinion, but I suspect that given contributory is a far more common word in general, it may be some usages here are erroneous for that very reason. I thought the correct form was contributive capacity before seeing the NGram, which seems to confirm my guess.

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+1: Good call; I'm glad you caught me out there! –  Daniel Jul 27 '11 at 0:00
    
@drm65: I dithered, actually. I really wanted to just silently edit your chart, but I thought that might be a bit cheeky! Anyway, it's just another case in the long sorry saga of how we all get caught out by NGrams! –  FumbleFingers Jul 27 '11 at 0:07
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I am only the better for it! –  Daniel Jul 27 '11 at 0:18
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Thank you all for your suggestions. So better contributive capacity rather than contributory. –  Alexandra Jul 27 '11 at 11:51

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