A pet hate of mine is the use of "pre-order".

It's an "order" - ordering someone to send some goods. Yes, if they are not available yet they will ship at some time in the future, but it is still an "order". It is not something you do "before" (i.e. "pre") ordering, i.e. that later you then "order" it. It is the whole and complete "order" right there and then.

The latest site to annoy me on this is Satechi.


  • They say "pre-order", annoying.
  • They say "Ships in 1-2 days" - WTF, wow, I am ordering just in time. Cool
  • They then say "Available on January 5th 2018"
Two of those statements appear to contradict. How can it ship in 1-2 days if it is not available for another 9 days!

Seriously, I got as far as "Ships in 1-2 days" and ordered, expecting in, you guessed it, "1-2 days".

Actually, I am not sure it had the "Available on January 5th 2018" when I ordered on 15th Dec. I am not even convinced it said "pre-order" as that would have rung alarm bells for me. Annoyingly they even offered a choice of shipping with how long they take, and I paid for the fastest one, believing the timescales quoted. Indeed, now, they have the product title as "Aluminum Type-C Clamp Hub Pro(Available on January 5th 2018)" but my order confirmation only has "Aluminum Type-C Clamp Hub Pro", so I am guessing they realised the error of their ways and made changes.

Also a tad annoying that they charged the card instantly, knowing they would not be shipping for weeks. No, not just an authorisation, it is completed card payment now.

Anyway, it will go nicely with the new toy that Santa UPS man in hired van finally delivered this morning.


  1. but but but we need to see it in action :D

  2. Given Adrian's prior experiences with iProducts am I the only one who thinks he IS actually likely to need the oscilloscope on the bench to get things working? :)

  3. It ships in 1 to 2 days *after* it becomes available on January 5.

  4. “Pre-heat the oven” - no, it’s either above ambient temperature or not…
    Pre-boarding - you are either on the plane or not…

  5. You are misinterpreting the meaning of the 'pre-' prefix: pre-X often does not mean 'before X' but rather 'X, happening before some other implied event'. It does not mean 'order before being ordered', which is as noted incoherent: it means 'order before available for shipment'. The 'pre-' refers to the fact that the order is happening before *something else*, not that this is something that happens before the order. This is a fairly common meaning of 'pre-', perhaps the most: 'preschool' is not 'school that happens before school' but rather 'school that happens before regular education' (a 'something else').

    (However, this being natural language, the other alternative happens quite often as well. Which is the case for any particular word appears fairly random to me: if anyone knows of a pattern in there, I'd be fascinated to know of it.)

    (Similarly, 'pre-heat the oven' means 'heat the oven before the event implied to be putting something into it'.)


Comments are moderated purely to filter out obvious spam, but it means they may not show immediately.

Breaking my heart

One of the things I suffer from is tachycardia. My first memory of this was in secondary school, when I got a flat tyre cycling to school an...