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AI Impacts, which conducted the study, has received support from four different EA-affiliated organizations, including the Future of Life Institute, which hosted Musk’s open letter and received its biggest donation from Musk.

For organizations affiliating EA,why it is not "EA-affiliating"?

I am confused about compound words—noun+present participle and none+past participle.

Here is another example:"a family-owned cafe" means that a cafe is owned by a family.

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  • I think you probably could use "affiliating" here and it wouldn't make much difference TBH. It's just more common to use affiliated as an adjective.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 10:21
  • I think you probably could use "affiliating" in the example, and it wouldn't make much difference TBH. It's just more common to use affiliated as an adjective. In some other contexts however using the -ing form of the verb as an adjective wouldn't work. For example "a family-owning cafe" would suggest the cafe owns the family. "a cafe-owning family" describes a family that owns a cafe.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 10:27
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    It's shorthand for 'organisations [which are] affiliated to the EA' (whatever that is). Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 11:46

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'EA-affiliated' is a compound adjective. It describes organisations as being affiliated with EA.

Unlike the similar word 'associate', which has the related adjective 'associated' and the present-continuous verb 'associating', there isn't really much call for the word 'affiliating' and is barely ever used in English because there is no real ongoing process of affiliation - you're either an affiliate or you are not.

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  • Thanks, organizations should be affiliated to EA,so "affiliated" is used,not "affiliating".
    – Mr. Wang
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 9:58
  • @WingledTiger - the affiliation took place on a date, when (presumably) a document was signed, so from that date forward, the member organisation was affiliated. Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 12:00
  • @WingledTiger Normally we would connect it with 'with', though. So, if ABC is an EA-affiliated company, then we would say that "ABC is affiliated with EA".
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 13:37
  • The Ngram link you provided is not correct, because in your analysis, you misspelled "affiliating" as "affilating". In any case, "affiliating" (correctly spelled) is still fairly common in some contexts, for example "affiliating with the wrong kind of people" is a pretty common way to use "affiliating with", at least in American English. Used in this way, it normally has a negative connotation -- I think Bob is affiliating with the competition. With the past-participle form, there is no negative connotation in my opinion: Bob is affiliated with the EA (= neutral connotation).
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 13:59
  • @Brandin Good spot with the spelling error - I have corrected it and as you can see it makes almost no difference whatsoever. Your example - do you have a source for that? Is that claim evidence-based?
    – Astralbee
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 14:15
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The key difference is that in hyphenated compounds a present participle is usually linked with the object/patient, and a past participle with the subject/agent. So a "cafe-owning family" is a family that owns a cafe, while a "cafe-owned family" means a family owned by a cafe; a "family-owned cafe" is a cafe owned by a family. Likewise a "moth-bitten coat" is a coat bitten by moths, but a "moth-biting cat" is a cat that bites moths.

"Affiliating" and "affiliated" are unusual because if A is affiliated to B, then B is affiliated to A, so "A-affiliating B" and "A-affiliated B" both make sense and mean essentially the same thing.

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I think you probably could use "affiliating" in your specific example, and it wouldn't make much difference to the meaning here. It's just more common to use affiliated as an adjective in this specific use-case.

In some other contexts however using the -ing form of the verb as an adjective wouldn't work. For example: "a family-owning cafe" would suggest the cafe owns the family which is an odd thing to say, whereas "a cafe-owning family" describes a family that owns a cafe, and a "family-owned cafe" describes a cafe that is owned by a family.

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If you look at the etymology of affiliate, you will see that means "bring into close association" and it derives from the latin word affiliare, meaning adopt a son.

If you think about the "adopting a son" meaning, it's not a symmetrical relationship. When used about organizations, a large organization generally adopts/affiliates many smaller ones, for example large organization A affiliates small organizations B, C and D.

We can then say

B is affiliated to/with A
B is A-affiliated

We can also say

A is affiliating B (if it's happening now)
A is B-affiliating (if it's a general trend)

but semantically is not particularly useful, hence the relatively small representation in this NGram graph.

There are plenty of other verbs where you the converse is true: you mainly use the present participle in a hyphenated compound adjective and rarely, if at all, the past participle, for example:

heat-seeking missiles
acid-loving plants
left-leaning politicians

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    For a hyphenated adjective, you should be able to read it basically backwards and still have the description make sense: heat-seeking missles are "missiles that are seeking heat", for example. Left-leaning politicians are "politicians that are leaning left." A well-funded company is "a company that is funded well," and an EA-affiliated company is "a company that is affiliated (with) (the) EA". When hyphenating, some connection words are often dropped, such as the "with" in "affiliated with".
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 13:27

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