Apropos of nothing

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chris:
Sorry if wrong group guys, but it was the first one i came across

What exactly does apropos of nothing actually mean, what context would it be used
regards
Chris
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Dr Robin Bignall:
[nq:1]Sorry if wrong group guys, but it was the first one i came across What exactly does apropos of nothing actually mean, what context would it be used[/nq]
It means something like "Sorry to bring this topic up. It's not really important and has nothing to do with what was being discussed, but I wonder if.." In other words, bringing something up which has no relevance to the topic under discussion. I do it all the time.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
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Adrian Bailey:
[nq:1]Sorry if wrong group guys, but it was the first one i came across What exactly does apropos of nothing actually mean, what context would itbe used[/nq]
"Apropos" is French. Pronounce it "approhpoh". "Apropos of nothing" means "about nothing". It's used when someone introduces something off-topic into the conversation.
Adrian
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Raymond S. Wise :
[nq:2]Sorry if wrong group guys, but it was the first one i came across What exactly does apropos of nothing actually mean, what context wouldit[/nq]
[nq:1]be[/nq]
[nq:2]used[/nq]
[nq:1]"Apropos" is French. Pronounce it "approhpoh". "Apropos of nothing" means "about nothing". It's used when someone introduces something off-topicinto the conversation.[/nq]
It is French in the sense that it's derived from a French expression, "à propos," but its been in the English language since the 17th century and is thoroughly naturalized. I checked with a number of dictionaries, both American and British, and was unable to find any that gave the first "o" in the word "apropos" an "oh" sound. The closest was The Century Dictionary of 1895 ( www.century-dictionary.com ) which represented it as an "o" with a macron and an underdot, which makes it the "o" of "abrogate," "eulogy," and "democrat."(1) All the other dictionaries represented it as a schwa.

The sound "oh" wouldn't be a very good representation of the original French sound, anyway. The dictionary at www.infoplease.com , has "à propos de rien" as a French expression, not naturalized in English, and so gives it a French pronunciation. The symbol its editors use to represent the sound of the first "o" in "propos" is the same as that used for the first vowel in "orbit," and the vowels of "fall" and "saw."
Note:
(1) To be specific, the Century says that "A single dot under a vowel in an unaccented syllable indicates its abbreviation and lightening, without absolute loss of its distinctive quality.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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meirman:
Yes, for sure. But IMO it's not that it's "about nothing". It's that it is relevant to nothing that is being discussed (you said that, off-topic). It's probably about something, and it could even be about something important (although important topics usually get a different introduction (Like, There's something I want to talk to you about"), this introduction would still be apropos.
apropos
adj : of an appropriate or pertinent nature (ant: malapropos) adv 1: by the way; "apropos, can you lend me some money for the weekend?" (syn: incidentally) 2: at an opportune time; "your letter arrived apropos" (syn: seasonably, timely, well-timed) Wordnet.
[nq:1]Adrian[/nq]
s/ meirman If you are emailing me please
say if you are posting the same response.
Born west of Pittsburgh Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis, 7 years
Chicago, 6 years
Brooklyn NY 12 years
Baltimore 20 years
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Adrian Bailey:
[nq:1]it[/nq]
I take your points, that the first o is shorter in both English and in French. Thanks for correcting it.
Adrian
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Raghunath:
And while we are at it, do we say "apropos of something" or "apropos something"?

In India, I sometimes come across letters to the editor starting with "Apropos the news report published in your newspaper...". Is that correct usage?

Raghu
Chennai, India
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Dr Robin Bignall:
[nq:1]And while we are at it, do we say "apropos of something" or "apropos something"? In India, I sometimes come across letters to the editor starting with "Apropos the news report published in your newspaper...". Is that correct usage?[/nq]
Yes, used quite often.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
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