?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


I’m clear that the prefix ‘pre’ indicates something that goes before something else.  For instance, a pre-nup is an agreement between two parties that is signed before the nuptial day. Pre-meditated murder is one that is planned in advance. Pre-existing means you have some health condition that pre-dates your insurance policy, so you might not have coverage for that particular ailment.

But I’m confused on other uses of ‘pre.’

For instance, what does it mean when a car dealer claims a vehicle is “pre-driven”? I don’t believe it means something happened to the car before it was first driven.  ‘Pre-owned’ gives me the same problem. Maybe it really means the car is used; and, if so, why not just say that?

Today, I saw a sign at the super market that read “Pre-conditioned avocadoes.”  Huh? Are they brainwashed? If not, what was their condition before they became avocadoes?  Is it catchy?

And does the supermarket only mean they are ripe?  Or ready to eat? If so, what’s wrong with calling a ripe avocado a ripe avocado, so I don’t have to decipher today’s advertising jargon?

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