Is "proactive" really a word?

Subject: Is "proactive" really a word?
From: Ron D Rhodes <Ron_D_Rhodes -at- MAIL -dot- BANKONE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 08:04:09 -0400

Dear Grammarians,

Is "proactive" a word?

I hear it used a lot in sentences like "We should take a 'proactive'
approach to training." I don't really know what people people are
trying to say when they use this word, but I think it's akin to taking
initiative, anticipating problems and fixing them before the happen.

I checked my Oxford American Dictionary (Avon Press) and I didn't see
the word. If you have a definition, would you please share it? And,
if the word is being mis-used, what word or phrase would you recommend
in it's place.


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