I read an article in today's newspaper and found myself struggling for a word to describe my reaction.
The article was about Florida prisons now offering kosher meals for Jewish prisoners. Florida now spends $2.49 per day per prisoner for regular meals. Kosher meals will cost $12.51 per day per prisoner. This will require an addition to the budget of $1.9 million. It's not stated, but my calculations say that this means they are estimating that there are about 519 Jewish prisoners in Florida jails that require kosher meals.
My initial reaction to the article was that there's no way that there are 519 Jewish prisoners in Florida that require a kosher diet. There just aren't that many Orthodox Jews (1) who are in our Florida prisons.
So..here we are at the word. My reaction was a preconceived notion about Jews. At first, I wanted to say that my reaction was prejudiced. Looking up "prejudiced", though
"2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics"
it seems that "prejudiced" is considered by M-W to be a negative word. My reaction was the opposite. Rather than think the worst, I was thinking the best. Irrationally, evidently, since I assume the Florida Department of Corrections has at least some handle on the number of Jews in our prisons that would prefer to keep kosher.

What would be the word - the opposite of prejudice as defined above - that describes a preconceived opinion that is not adverse and not irrationally hostile?
(1) I'm not sure if only an Orthodox Jew keeps kosher. For all I know, a Reformed or even a Secular Jew could consider it a requirement to keep kosher. That's not the point of the question, though. If I'm wrong on this assumption, discount the statement and consider the question of determining the correct word with the sentence somehow rewritten.
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So..here we are at the word. My reaction was a preconceived notion about Jews. At first, I wanted to say ... opposite of prejudice as defined above - that describes a preconceived opinion that is not adverse and not irrationally hostile?

Biased? (Biased towards.)

Maria Conlon
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So..here we are at the word. My reaction was a ... preconceived opinion that is not adverse and not irrationally hostile?

Biased? (Biased towards.)

Doesn't sound right. I'm not biased in favor of Jews. I'm not biased in favor of non-criminal Jews. I just can't mentally picture a lot of Orthodox Jews in Florida prisons. Give me another word.
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I read an article in today's newspaper and found myself struggling for a word to describe my reaction. The article ... that this means they are estimating that there are about 519 Jewish prisoners in Florida jails that require kosher meals.

Did the article happen to say how much extra is being spent on providing halal meals for the current guests at Hotel Guantanamo?

(snip rest: far too on-topic)

Ross Howard
So..here we are at the word. My reaction was a preconceived notion about Jews. At first, I wanted to say ... Corrections has at least some handle on the number of Jews in our prisons that would prefer to keep kosher.

One can be prejudiced in favour of, or prejudiced against.

"Prejudice" is indeed a negative word, as it means jumping to conclusions without considering the evidence. It's hard to put a positive spin on that.

As for separate words, the only ones that come to mind are "studium" for prejudice in favour of, and "ira" for prejudice against.

I checked my dictionary, however, and they aren't English words. THey are, however, used by historians when they say that historical writing should ideally be without studium or ira.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
I read an article in today's newspaper and found myself struggling for a word to describe my reaction. The article ... on this assumption, discount the statement and consider the question of determining the correct word with the sentence somehow rewritten.

The way I see it, definition (1) is a larger class that also includes definition (2). What it says is, "prejudice" can refer to any preconceived judgement, including prejudice in favor of something; yet, in particular, it is often used to mean negative ones.

I'm not sure if your opinion was that there aren't many Jews in Florida who follow a kosher diet, or whether such people are not likely to be convicted criminals, but either or both would be a preconceived opinion, and so fall under definition (1).
Now, with that said, I can see where Definition (l) is so rare these days as to be misleading, which would explain why you are looking for another word. It resembles the situation with "discrimination," which is also assumed to be negative these days.
So, is there a word for a prior judgment or assumption that is more favorable than the truth warrants? "Bias" can still be for as well as against, but that doesn't describe the individual opinion. "A fond assumption" is the only other thing that comes to mind; that isn't right, either, but at least it carries the idea of favor.

Best Donna Richoux
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Ross asked:
Did the article happen to say how much extra is being spent on providing halal meals for the current guests at Hotel Guantanamo?

Why would that be relevant? The article is discussing a state budget, but funds to support the inmates at Guantánamo come from the federal budget: different monies, different responsibilities.
Ross asked:

Did the article happen to say how much extra is being spent on providing halal meals for the current guests at Hotel Guantanamo?

Why would that be relevant? The article is discussing a state budget, but funds to support the inmates at Guantánamo come from the federal budget: different monies, different responsibilities.

Same result, though:
http://www.state.gov/p/sa/rls/fs/7910.htm
Hmm. I'm almost impressed. (Although wouldn't it be cheaper to just send them home?)

Ross Howard
I read an article in today's newspaper and found myself ... of determining the correct word with the sentence somehow rewritten.

The way I see it, definition (1) is a larger class that also includes definition (2). What it says is, ... ones. I'm not sure if your opinion was that there aren't many Jews in Florida who follow a kosher diet,

Oh, no. As a guess, I'd say that Florida is right behind New York in any population ranking of Jews or Orthodox Jews.
or whether such people are not likely to be convicted criminals,

There's my preconceived notion.
but either or both would be a preconceived opinion, and so fall under definition (1). Now, with that said, I ... only other thing that comes to mind; that isn't right, either, but at least it carries the idea of favor.

Coming up with one word seems like it would be simple, but isn't.
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