Prepay First

From reader Nora:

I was horrified as I got gas at the Irving station in Amesbury today…

After I prepay inside first, I’m going to find my keys and stop looking for them. Then I’ll Google my crushes on the Internet.
You have no idea how hard it is to write something intentionally redundant.
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6 responses to “Prepay First

  1. George Carlin does a whole riff on the prefix “pre-” and how it can be redundant all by itself. For example, “pre-boarding” … what exactly does that mean?

    My favorite is “This program was pre-recorded.” When did you think they were going to record it? Afterwards?

  2. Reminds me of those signs that say “ATM Machine”. I HATE those.

  3. One year anniversary.
    6% APR.

    Grrr. Don’t get me started.

  4. Vivude:
    If a show is live, and recorded during its run, it is simply recorded.

    If the show is not live, and what you are listening to was recorded before broadcast, it is prerecorded.

    It is not redundant. Saying “this show was recorded” could mean
    a) As you listened to it, this show was being recorded
    b) This show was recorded before you heard it.

    Pre is NOT a redunadant prefix in most cases.

    Boarding: For the general public
    Pre-boarding: For those who need help (with children, in wheelchairs, etc.). It happens before the boarding does.

    Ordering: Asking for a product currently available in stores.
    Pre-ordering: Asking for a product that is not yet available in stores.

  5. No, you could talk about “pre-boarding” activities such as checking in luggage or passing security but “pre-boarding” as a verb by itself makes no sense. You can’t get on the plane before you get on. “advance boarding”, “early boarding”, fine. But “pre-blah” refers to something that takes place before “blah”.

    And I have no quarrel with “this program was recorded”. “was” establishes that the recording took place in the past, as opposed to “this program is being recorded”. “this program was pre-recorded” is redundant.

    And lighten up. George Carlin is a comedian.

  6. Yes, you would pre-pay before pumping gas, with the money you get from the ATM machine, which requires you to input your PIN number. ;)

    Agree that “pre-board” makes no sense. It’s like “pre-swim” or “pre-enter.”

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