I find myself pausing every time before I type out precede or proceed just to make sure I’m using the right word. My trick is that pre-. It’s easy enough as it means before, so obviously if I want to come before anything, I definitely want to precede it. Pro-, and don’t ask me why, always feels like a positive, that I’m going forward with something. It works, since proceed is exactly that, continuing on, moving forward.
So my suggestion for writers, is to proceed with your ambitions, but precede them with a good proofreading before you publish!
Word Confusions started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: precede; Merriam-Webster: precede and proceed|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive||Verb, intransitive|
[Journalism] Copy printed at the beginning of a news story presenting late bulletins, editorial notes, or prefatory remarks
To come before in time, order, or position
To come ahead
To be in front of
To be earlier than
To surpass in dignity, rank, or importance
To come before something in time
|To come forth from a source
To continue after a pause or interruption
To begin and carry on an action, process, or movement
To move along a course
It’s too late to change the article, go ahead and do a precede.
Breakfast was preceded by some leisurely morning sex.
Take time to read the chapters that precede the recipes, you’ll see what I mean.
He let her precede him through the gate.
As you’ll note from the preceding pages, the formula was transposed here and again in this paragraph.
He preceded the book with a collection of poems.
|Strange sounds proceeded from the room.
I think the work is proceeding well.
The parade proceeded at a stiff march down the street.
We can proceed with our investigation.
The ship could proceed to Milwaukee.
Opposite the front door was a staircase, which I proceeded to climb.
He may still be able to proceed against the contractor under the common law negligence rules.
Negotiations must proceed without delay.
As the excavation proceeds, the visible layers can be recorded and studied.
His claim that all power proceeded from God was ridiculous.
|Adjective: preceding||Noun: proceeds|
|History of the Word:|
|First known use: 15th century
Late Middle English from the Old French preceder, from the Latin praecedere, which is from prae (before) + cedere (go).
|First known use: 14th century
Late Middle English: from Old French proceder, from Latin procedere, from pro- (forward) + cedere (go).
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?