I had long ago promised myself to write about the two most expensive words I’ve come across, ex-ante and ex-post. Together, they cost me EUR43500.
Before I up the ante, let me introduce these words ex-ante and you can decide ex-post whether they should really cost so much. Ex-ante is Latin for “Before the event” and you should have guessed by now ex-post must mean “After the event”.
Any b-school case seemed incomplete without these words. Using them made mundane observations seem esoteric. Not everyone is well versed in Latin, so it conveniently guides you away from the main purpose of the paper, if there’s one, while still making you feel you learnt something. The reason behind this is simple. Any average b-school research is mostly observational, and by definition, ex-post. But, the writers want you to believe they figured it all out ex-ante and are merely justifying their new found wisdom with real world examples.
Now that you know more about them, I would like hear your thoughts ex-post.