From The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers

Do not write anticipate when you mean expect. Confine anticipate to its proper meaning of forestalling something. " I anticipated your request" does not mean merely that I expected it; it means that I have complied with it in advance.

Anticipate is wrongly used in:

There are no vacancies at present; nor are any anticipated for some time,


It is anticipated to complete the work in about ten days.

It is rightly used in:

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he could not anticipate his budget statement,


Remember, in conducting, that your thought and gesture will almost certainly be too late rather than too early. Anticipate everything.

" Thanking you in anticipation " uses the word correctly but falls under the ban of commercialese.

The use of anticipate for expect is now so general that it may soon have to be recognised as idiomatic. But it would be a pity not to fight to the last against so wanton a corruption of a word possessing a precise and useful meaning of its own.

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