Copyright © 2015 Jason Romanenko

Prognosticate

Although the word prognosticate is certainly related to other words such as prognosis and prognostic, it has a slightly different theme and seems to steer away from the health aspect entirely. In general there are five other words I can think of which denote the same meaning and offer enlightenment. They are (i ) foretell (ii) presage (iii) prophesy (iv) forecast and (v) predict.

It is thought that the root of this word stems from the Latin ‘ prognostica ’ which is the old term that people used to relate to weather and weather signs. Over the years people learned to not only forecast weather, but also other activities, which may have been related to weather signs at first, for example crop rotation and crop yield. Today there are probably as many different ways to prognosticate (foretell) as there are people on the planet, however accurate interpretations into the distant future remain difficult not least because different civilizations have risen and fallen so many times as to make life itself like a kind of sea-sickness.

There are also many different methods of prognostication (for example astrology) which employ their own techniques. In business perhaps forecasts of growth mainly fall between two models. Business and additional business where new business is simply appended to a total, or more ambitious forecasts where new business is estimated as virtually asymptotic. Most people generally prefer to keep their business efforts linear to minimize risk, particularly when forecasting.


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