5/10/2006

Pre and Post

No, I'm not talking about a blog posting in the heading. There's another expression, I want to get to. Actually, it's kind of driving me crazy. What I'm referring to is an expression from the marketing/advertising sphere and it's called 'Aftersales'. With 'After' being a typical false friend according to Wikipedia's comprehensive list of false friends, it already makes me a bit uneasy. But made into a compound word it's almost driving me up the wall. Even more so, since the antagonist phenomenon is being referred to as 'Presales'.

While I think that I perfectly understand the idea of an activity being associated with efforts preceding a potential sale of goods or services, I will never be able to find out why the sum of efforts succeding a sale is not expressed by the contrary, which - at least according to my understanding of language - would have to be the antagonist to the prefix 'pre', hence 'post'. Is 'Postsales' such an inacceptible compound word that someone had to replace it by 'after'? Were there any replicable reasons for confusing 'Postsales' with an activity not suitable here? I'm afraid I can't make out any criteria that justify this - to me silly sounding - word 'Aftersales'.

'Pre' and 'Post' - they make the perfect linguistic antagonism for me. But then, I might just be too late with that proposal...

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