prepositions again

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Oct 26 21:25:48 UTC 2011

In today's Times, an article about historian Taylor Branch's extremely critical view of the NCAA and its treatment of amateurism,,
includes this passage:


...Branch, The Atlantic, and the e-book publisher Byliner agreed to produce a 25,000-word e-book version of the article retitled, “The Cartel,” which included sections on Title IX and Division III football.       

“I wouldn’t say we were attracted in the scandal,” Mark Bryant, Byliner’s co-founder and editorial director, said. “We were more into how the N.C.A.A. was being run. Rather than just make it a scandal story, Taylor’s such an extraordinary historian that he gave us a history of the N.C.A.A. to give us an idea of how things have gotten to this point.”       


So, "X is/was attracted in Y".  For me, the only possibilities are "attracted by"--or in some cases, esp. if the goal is a person, "attracted to", with a slightly different meaning.  I thought (and continue to think) that this might be a blend of "attracted by" and "interested in", especially in the actual context, but a bit of googling confirms that Mr. Bryant is not alone:
How can you tell a guy is sexually attracted in you.
Guys: what makes you attracted in a girl?
My friend (A girl) is attracted in the mass murderer Breivik, is she a psychopath? › News › Europe
Polish programs support the same-sex attracted in chaste living

A number of the hits are likely not from native speakers and most are false hits ("attracted in the first half of the year", "attracted in 1997", etc.)*, but a number aren't.  Is ["attracted in" + Goal] a standard option for anyone else?


*Note that this may apply to "What makes you attracted in a girl?" if it's really [What makes you attracted] [in a girl], i.e. "What, in a girl, makes you attracted?"  
The American Dialect Society -

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