[Ads-l] Trivia: _to_ vs. _for_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 17 07:03:06 UTC 2015

For dekkids, I've noticed the annoying replacement of "to" by "for," here
and there. I've found it difficult to find a clear, quotable example, let
alone a citable one. Of course, I don't sit around listening for examples
of the replacement of "to" by for. I simply notice that someone has done,
but I can't recall the exact sentence.

I've now heard this replacement in an idiom. So, I can recall it. A black
guy on TV asks

"Why don't you _run it down *for*_ me?"

IME, it's been only,

"... run it down *to* .,."

for about the past 75 years.

But, life being what it is, the earliest GB date for _to_ is only 1971:

Amending Further the Peace Corps Act, Hearing Before the ... -
United States. Congress. House. Foreign Affairs - 1971 - ‎Snippet view
He _ran it down *to*_ me about how I could enhance my own image of self by
living and working in places where people have grown into Black pride
naturally, where Black power is the status quo, and Black action is a
working reality.

The earliest example of _for_ is younger by three
statistically-insignificant years:

Oreo - Page 140
Fran Ross - 1974 - ‎Preview
She found the usual: ... _RUN IT DOWN *FOR*_ ME ...

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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