One week from today, I will be on a plane to New York to begin a 12-day journey of fun and excitement. My itinerary includes a brief stop in NYC to attend a lecture by Stephen James and then off to Croatia with five of my family members and two family friends for a week of history, food, and relaxing by the pool. (But still writing of course!) I am greatly anticipating this much needed, and much appreciated break.
That got me wondering, why is the word anti-cipate. What am I anti against in this case? Why does a word with so much joy attached to it, start with a negative? Turns out, it’s changed a bit since its beginnings.
The word anticipate has Latin roots in the words ante, meaning before, and capere, meaning take. Put these words together, change the e to an i, modify the ending for tense and you end up with the Latin word anticipat, meaning acted in advance.
There are actually a lot of meanings to the word anticipate:
To give advance thought or treatment to
To meet an obligation before a due date
To deal with in advance
To use in advance of actual possession
To act before
To look forward to as certain
While I was using the word primarily for its last meaning, there is a lot of anticipation that goes into taking a vacation. First, I have to think forward to what clothing, toiletries, and other items I will need over such a long time period. Then, I need to act before the due date of my vacation to get everything packed and ready to go. Ideally, I should do some research on my destination and things to do there, but I have yet to get that particular task done.
Maybe it’s best to go in blind. Maybe if I look forward to something as ‘certain’ I will be disappointed. If I anticipate too much, I could walk into the realm of fantasy. What I am certain of is that this will be an adventure and I very much look forward to that.