Sunday, October 28, 2012


Meaning: to move to an earlier time; the opposite of postpone.

Usefulness: 1 ("Happy hour has been preponed to 4pm." "My meeting was preponed, so I'll be home early." "We need to prepone our next dinner - I have so much to tell you!")

Logofascination: 2 (Technically, we can also compone, depone, dispone, impone, interpone, oppone, propone and suppone; the pone is from the Latine ponere, meaning to put or to place.  Apparently the stem for this was confused with the stem for pose, so we generally compose, depose, dispose, impose, interpose, oppose, propose and suppose instead.)

In the wild: in a blog which mentioned Indian cricket; the OED and wiktionary both list this word as belonging mainly to Indian English, but I don't see why we shouldn't borrow it back again.

Degrees: 2

Connections: prepone - interpone

Which is used in: G&P, Third Book, XL: How Bridlegoose giveth reasons why he looked upon those law-actions which he decided by the chance of the dice.  This chapter is one of several Rabelais wrote satirically skewering lawyers and the law; Bridlegoose, a judge who uses dice to decide cases is asked why he then needs the 'bags and pokes' of documents relating to the cases. One of his reasons is for exercise, because
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis. 
Frame tells us this means 'take a few merry breaks between cares', and is a 'saying of Dionysius Cato much quoted in legal circles' in Rabelais' time.

1 comment:

  1. The OED and Wiktionary are both correct. We prepone meetings all the time.