hysteron proteron hysteron proteron
 his'-ter-on pro'-ter-on from Gk. hysteros, "later" and protos, "first"
("the latter put as the former")
praeposteratio, prepostera loquutio

Disorder of time. (What should be first, isn't.) A kind of hyperbaton.
  Put on your shoes and socks.
(not in that order, of course)

In the following example, the turning of the rudder logically precedes the flight described, yet is mentioned after:
Th' Antoniad, the Egyptian admiral,
With all their sixty, fly and turn the rudder.
—Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra 3.10.2

Related Figures

See Also
  Sources: Susenbrotus (1540) 32-33 ("hysteron proteron," "praeposteratio"; Sherry (1550) 31 ("hysterologia," "prepostera loquutio"); Peacham (1577) F4r; Putt. (1589) 181 ("histeron proteron," "the preposterous"); Day 1599 83

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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