prolegomenon was our Word of the Day on 07/14/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Prolegomenon is the singular and "prolegomena" is the plural of this scholarly word, though people sometimes mistakenly interpret "prolegomena" as the singular. The word, which comes from the Greek verb prolegein ("to say beforehand"), first appeared in print around 1652. It has appeared in the titles of noteworthy scholarly and philosophical works, but it has never been as common in general use as its older cousin "prologue." "Prologue" usually refers to an introduction to a literary work or to a speech addressed to the audience at the beginning of a play. "Prolegomenon" is most often used of the introduction to a work of scholarly analysis. Both words can also be used in a broader sense to refer generally to something that serves as an introduction.
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