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8-01-2010 @ 5:11PM
"Preventative" can be used as both an adjective and a noun. That said, it's a less-common (in American English, at least), but quite old (M-W dates it back to circa 1666, the OED to 1655) variant of "preventive." Michael Quinion, of World Wide Words, notes that the longer version, with its stuttering middle syllables, has drawn complaints since the 1860s, and some style guides argue against it (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-pre3.htm).I love word origin stories, if you hadn't noticed.
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