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Which of the two is the "correct" form, or are both correct? Do they mean the same? Or is there a subtle distinction between anti- and a-?

Edit: replaced the English terms by the German ones, sorry.

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Is this a question related to German language? In German, the Prefix 'a' is generally a negation whereas 'anti' means against, counter... – Deve Jun 1 '11 at 11:06
Should this be on English.SE? – Tim Jun 1 '11 at 11:06
I would actually say nicht chronologisch or in umgekehrter chronologischer Reihenfolge. – OregonGhost Jun 1 '11 at 12:02
Another way would be to say chronologisch ungeordnetor in verkehrter zeitlicher Reihenfolge. Though I would not use in verkehrter chronologischer Reihenfolge. – bernd_k Jun 1 '11 at 20:14

4 Answers 4

I don't think those words really exist in German. At least I couldn't find them on ;-)

The only context I found them (both) via Google was with CVs. So I guess its an Anglicism that came to Germany with the American style CVs recently. ;)

OregonGhost posted the correct translations in his comment. However, "antichronologisch" sounds wronger to my ears than "achronologisch".

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Yes, as I noted even in English "antichronological" is very weird. It is much more normal to see "reverse chronological" instead, which is a synonym. – Glen Wheeler Jun 1 '11 at 13:44
These are technical terms that are not listed in a dictionary like the Duden which aims at everyday users. Since many technical terms are created within an international society of scientists and technologists, and since many of these kinds of terms are created ad hoc and forgotten again, it would take extensive research to find out where they originated. – user1914 Mar 8 '13 at 13:23
I agree with @Toscho that putting "anti" in front of chronologisch is ambiguous. It could either mean "in reverse (chronological) order" or it could mean "not chronological" (the same as achronistisch). Therefore using this word composition just seems plain wrong to me. One should rather explain the intention more clearly, for example "in umgekehrt chronologischer Reihenfolge". – BatteryBackupUnit Jun 15 at 9:20

They are both correct, but have different meanings.

The a-word construction indicates a lack of word, whereas the anti-word construction indicates something against word.

In your example, something which is "achronological" is something without a time-based order. For example, I could say my notebook is achronological, as I write on random pages on random days.

Something is "antichronological" (this is a odd word however) if it is in reverse chronological order. For example, if I wrote on my notebook from the last page to the first page, I could say it is antichronological.

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Anti can mean "opposite to some direction", so here it could mean "opposite to the direction of time". It could also mean "opposite to some meaning/perspective/attitude". So one could also use this adjective for anything, that disturbs the chronological order. – Toscho Mar 2 '13 at 13:08

The prefixes "a-" and "anti-" have different meanings. "achronological" means "not proceeding through time in an ordered fashion", while "antichronological" means "proceeding backwards through time".

Example: Most movies rewinded are antichronological, while e.g. Memento is achronological,

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I see some people have problems with their own language. It would be proper to us "unchronologisch", "un" is used to show the opposite of something. like "un-logisch" "un-glaublich", etc.

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There's a difference between "unchronolgisch" (not chronological, i.e., in random order) and "antichronologisch" (in reverse order). – Johannes Kloos Mar 1 '13 at 20:50

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