No, it’s not the new Brinks, nor the famed Wells Fargo.  It’s the transitive verb, as in

I’ll have to forego that pleasure

I didn’t have time to write this morning, I was telling a friend. I wrote a little message this morning and reported that I would have to forego that pleasure.

What inspired me to look up the meaning of this simple and somewhat archaicly used verb was the fact that my American spellcheck insisted on taking the “e” out of it. My Canadian neck hairs bristled at that American corporate assumption that I would have to change my entire educational upbringing in orthography and bend to their shortened version of the word.

Or else, every time I wrote it in my Canadian/English fashion, I would have it underlined in red, as if to say “Madame! Your spelling is in correct.  I, the almighty computer, will dock you one more mark on your essay (or letter, or missive, or short story or whatever). You incompetent speller, you. You incalcitrant Canadian, you! Get with it! Do as we do! Correct your spelling.”

Of course there are options. Every time I retain a “u” in  colour or favour,  or double the “l” in travelling, or jewellry, I am likewise chastised. But there is the option to add the word to my private computer dictionary.

So this morning, in a state of some surprise, I looked up the word forego.  Once I started to look at it, forego seemed to be a rather odd looking word; but then forgo seemed to be more like Wells Fargo, fargo,  and how could that be? Not only that, but the meaning of  fore (preceding) is not the same as for, the preposition and the conjunction.

Forego is, of course, a composite word, linking fore meaning to precede, and go a word of action, a movement forward, a leave taking.

The word means to precede, to go before.

That should not have been a surprise to me, given the two composite words are so clear and simple.  I, however, had been using it in the sense of “to do without” which I could find nowhere in the Merriam, Wikipedia nor the on-line dictionary.

I’ll have to forego that pleasure?”  It no longer makes sense to me. I will have to precede that pleasure? Ach, the English language! No wonder foreigners learning the language have such a difficulty with it.

And then, of course, I couldn’t leave it at that. I Googled

It’s a forum where people can discuss the meanings of words.

I discovered that the expression was really an insult!!!!!!

Well, blow me down! Knock me over! That was another surprise.  It was most interesting to see what others had to say about this no-longer simple word!

And blow me down? Knock me over?

Well, as I said in the beginning, I don’t have time to write today, so I’ll just hope that someone else can help me out with those expressions.

I’ve got plants to plant before they die, a birthday present to wrap before Mr. Stepford’s landmark birthday party this evening at five, a flu shot to get at noon – far away in Coquitlam.

I have work to forego my pleasure!

I gotta go!


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