Dragaera and Shakespeare [Spoiler for POTD]

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Thu Feb 20 17:51:44 PST 2003

Orthographic, morphological, and semantic digression:

Somebody wrote

#Foregoing the topic of free will at this time

Historically, there are two similar but distinct prefixes in English,
"fore-" and "for-".

"Fore-", with an "e", means roughly 'before, ahead, in front of', as in
"forebears", 'ancestors', "foresee" 'know in advance', "foretell"
'predict'. In nouns, like "forebears", it often takes the main accent of
the word.

"For-", with no "e", means something like 'away' or 'gone' and is often
much more metaphorical than "fore-", as in "forget" (the memory is
gone), "forgive" (the injury is gone), "forgo" (do without). It never
takes main accent.

This is "forgo", with no "e". "Forego" would mean 'to go out ahead, to
be (somewhere) earlier'.

-- Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoepist, and
   Philological Busybody
   a.k.a. Mark A. Mandel