Is your use of 'apropos' apropos?

Jun 21, 2011

The starting point is the French phrase à propos meaning 'to the purpose'.

So His remarks were extremely apropos.

His remarks were very much to the purpose.

An apropos remark is one that is apt, suitable, effective.

The French phrase becomes 'à propos de' and the English phrase is just a translation of that  'apropos of'.

So Apropos of your last remark, I would like to say that....

It translates as With regard to your last remark, I would like to say that...

To me this has a conversational tone. It is used to make a segue from one subject to another in a somewhat contrived way. This is not something you usually do in prepared text  where you have plenty of time to construct arguments and build logical structures. You shouldn't need to make the kind of adhoc link that is the essence of 'apropos of'.

'Apropos the above comments' is not possible. That is, apropos used on its own as a preposition. It tramples over the underlying French phrase which English has borrowed and Anglicised.

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(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

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