Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Dec 21 2009   10:45PM GMT

Is that option pre-installed?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

You may be able to restore your computer to a previous, functional status if it came with a recovery utility _________.
a. pre-installed
b. installed


Answer: b.

Explanation:
Pre-installed is used to describe things that are installed on a system before you buy it but — really — what’s the difference between a system that comes with Windows 7 installed and one that comes with it pre-installed? I maintain that pre-installed is not a useful word and should just go away.

And when it leaves, it can take pre-prepare with it. Paul Yeager writes about pre-prepare on the Everything Language and Grammar Blog:

“Prepare means to get something ready in advance, so pre-prepare must mean to get something ready before you get it ready in advance.”

I’m lucky if I’m ever prepared — there’s just no way I’m going to be pre-prepared. And should I ever feel the need to pre-prepare for something I’ll freely admit to being preparanoid. Now there’s a useful word. My son coined it a few years ago to describe those of us who get bent out of shape preparing for every remote potentiality.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: