I make my living with words, always have, so this is something of a rant about words, actually a prefix. The prefix is “pre,” which means: before in time, rank, order, or position. There are perfectly good uses for this prefix, such as in the words preposition, prehistoric, and premeditation. With these words I have no problem. Some of those I do are:
pre-drilled holes WTF? A hole drilled before it is a hole?
pre-recorded music Music that is recorded before, uh, uh, . . .
pre-fabricated Aw, c’mon could just “fabricated” do?
pre-registered When someone shows up for an event requiring registration do you ask them if they have already registered, or if they have pre-registered?
pre-existing condition This takes the cake. A condition that doesn’t already exist is what exactly? I think they mean an “existing condition.”
pre-pay I’d rather just pay.
pre-cooked food This may be a borderline case, but isn’t food either cooked or not or maybe partially cooked? But “pre-cooked” . . . ?
Prevent these prevarications! Drop the “pre” when it isn’t needed, please.