Ian Jackson <ijack...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> Maybe this is a US/UK difference. In British English "retrospective"
> is the term for a rule, law, decision which takes effect with respect
> to past actions, events or situations, or for an act which is deemed
> effective as if it had been done earlier than it really was.
Ah, yup, two countries divided by a common language. In the US,
retroactive is used in that same situation, and "retrospective" is
reserved for informational examinations of the past (similar to
I'm fine with the GR being in UK English. :)
> I hope the meaning is clear even to a US reader, given that I explain
> exactly what I mean by "retrospective".
Yup, it's fine.
> JOOI what is the antonym ? In my idiolect it is one of the meanings
> of "prospective". "Proactive" means something quite different.
Proactive is usable as the antonym although yes, it has another meaning as
well and could be confusing. Usually for regulations the antonym is the
unstated default: regulations are assumed to only apply to actions in the
future unless explicitly stated otherwise. You sometimes see
"forward-looking" or "applies to future actions" or "from this point
forward" or something like that if someone wants to be really explicit.
I rarely see "prospective" in that context, although I don't do a lot of
legal reading so maybe it's used in more specialist legal forums. In
general speech, prospective has more of a connotation of a tentative
possibility: a prospective contact (that may or may not pan out), a
prospective investor (who you are still trying to convince to invest), or
a business prospective (laying out what you hope to achieve but may or may
not succeed in doing).
Russ Allbery (r...@debian.org) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>