preempt
5 years ago No Comments

(pronounced pree-EMPT)

“We’re sorry, but our regularly scheduled programming has been preempted to bring you this breaking news!” Yes, that’s how most of us are familiar with this term, but this odd little word – that’s not exactly pronounced like it’s spelled – can mean more than replacing something with something else of seemingly higher priority. It can mean to obstruct or prevent something from happening altogether, or it can also mean to take control of something for oneself or a group, essentially shutting others out. Our example sentence covers the latter definition.

Example: By mid-day during the charette taking place during state Student Career Day, the two design students from Washington College preempted the entire team’s concepts and took the design solution in a completely different – and, unfortunately, wrong direction.