on reversed "substitute" (intransitive version)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 4 14:44:59 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 9:28 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> The objection (or, to put it more neutrally, the non-occurring example) for us
> old-timers arises from the preposition governed by "substitute".  You can
> replace butter with olive oil, or equivalently (as in your Mac dictionary
> examples) substitute olive for butter, but you can't substitute butter with
> olive oil or vice versa.  In fact I still have trouble figuring out what's
> being moved in and what's being deleted in such cases, but as Wiktionary says
> this use is increasing  despite the carping (or the non-comprehension) from
> the old-timers.
> We've certainly discussed it to death here, and there are no doubt Language
> Log or other blogs on the topic, as Ben will remind us.

This is Arnold's bailiwick -- see, e.g., this post (w/ examples from previous
ADS-L discussions):



Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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