"substitute with" again

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Mar 8 01:49:46 UTC 2006

SOTAs, SOTAs everywhere !  And not a drop to drink.

  And, boy, do I need one !


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: "substitute with" again

It still sounds very odd to me, but I'm beginning to accept that it
really is creeping into standard usage, at least for some. I was
looking at an impressive retrospective of Hokusai, the great 19th
century Japanese artist, at the Smithsonian Asian museum in D.C. this
weekend, where one of the many descriptive plaques read in part as

The image is based on a story in which Nichiren encounters a
beautiful woman who reveals her true form as that of a seven-headed
serpent, but in this painting Hokusai has substituted the serpent
with the more familiar dragon.

--for me, this would have had to be either "replaced the serpent with
the more familiar dragon" or "substituted the more familiar dragon
for the serpent". The curatorial prose on these plaques was
otherwise as stylistically dignified as you'd expect--no contractions
or any trace of colloquialisms. We're definitely tracking an ongoing
linguistic change in formal English... (Wilson, I weep with thee.)


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