What is this phrase "pre-order", which has become so common just recently?
The phrase is being used when encouraging consumers to place an order for a product which hasn't yet been released, so as to guarantee their copy when the product does come out. Here is an example from EA Sports, advertising their next football game, Fifa 13:
The trouble is, it's utter rubbish - the phrase doesn't actually mean anything!
The prefix "pre-" refers to something being done in advance (for example, "premediated", "predetermined" or "preconceived") but one can only ever order a product in advance of receiving it, making the "pre-" completely superfluous.
We see the same thing with nonsensical expressions like "pre-planned". According to YourDictionary.com:
"Pre-planned means you gave an event or project thought ahead of time."That's exactly what the word "planned" means.
How is "pre-planning" something any different from just planning it? How is "pre-ordering" Fifa 13 any different from simply ordering it? It isn't; there's no difference. The "pre-" is unnecessary. STOP ADDING IT IN WHERE IT'S NOT NEEDED.