No. 4: A “Pre-Owned” Car Really Means a “New” Car!

Despite the continuous demolition of our English language through carelessness, it’s amazing that this attempt at deception slides through unnoticed.

The prefix “pre” means “before.”   “Pre-dawn” hours refer to the time just before the dawn.  “Pre-historic” means something which occurred before written history.

A “pre-owned” car refers to the time before it has been owned; therefore, when it is new.  It does not mean “previously” owned which is an attempt to make a “used” car seem more elegant.  Sorry, Marketing Fluff.

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4 thoughts on “No. 4: A “Pre-Owned” Car Really Means a “New” Car!

  1. Pingback: Plain speaking? Yes, please! | Churchmouse Campanologist

    • Yes, the market fluffeteers have been using “pre-owned” as a euphemism for “used.” Trouble is, logic overrules them. 🙂 Thanks for writing and spreading the word!

  2. Brilliant! I always despised this expression but not for the reason you stated (which is of course correct).

    I just thought it silly that they should “certify” that a car was pre(viously) owned. As if buying a new car was something to be avoided at all cost. Don’t worry- we will certify that this car is not new.

    With this post I now get it…they are certifying that the car is actually unused. Hmmm, confusion abounds.

    • It appeared to me that they were trying to get rid of “used” label as if it’s demeaning somehow. I don’t like it when marketing types try to make something seem better than it is. After all, “used” could be good or bad…. And some think language isn’t important.

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