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When is the “-wise” suffix okay?

For instance: “We need to do everything we can prevention-wise.”

Other similar words: taxwise, money-wise, property-wise, food-wise

I realise there has been resistance to indiscriminate usage; the question is really about what constitutes “indiscriminate”?

Secondly, why the prejudice against what is a productive and concise suffix, when the alternative phrases are cumbersome and pretentious.

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Maybe the context has some bearing, or even the old formal/informal use argument?

One could argue that the indiscriminate addition of suffices is rather too common these days.
A prime example of this being the "-age" suffix which has led to its use to form words which some use as alternative plurals instead of collective terms.

Hairy Scot August 8, 2015, 12:32am

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As soon as we use the word 'indiscriminate' we are in the area of subjectivity, and the use of the word itself suggests a certain attitude. Me, I prefer 'the creative use of suffixes', which of course also suggests a certain attitude.

And as HS rightly says, register has a lot to do with it. These expressions usually sound better in an informal register. By the way, the only '-age' example I can think of is 'signage' - which I would suggest is not usually used as a plural, but indeed as a collective term, and more (the whole system). Are there others?

As for suffixes themselves, they have been a long-accepted way of creating new words: in HS's short comment I can see at least three.

Perhaps it's all a matter of time: there is often resistance to new words, which with time may begin to sound more familiar.

Warsaw Will August 10, 2015, 1:07am

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