convince and persuade

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 14 17:11:27 UTC 2009

At 11:48 AM -0500 1/14/09, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>"I will have to convince the author to give us a quick revision of her
>My AOL spell-and-grammar checker tells me that this use of "convince" is an
>"inappropriate preposition." They suggest "persuade" instead. I vaguely
>remember that some old-time prescriptivists condemn the use of
>"convince" as a verb
>meaning "persuade," but this seems bizarrely old-fashioned--and "preposition"
>has nothing to do with it.
Right, there is such a prescriptive rule which may or may not ever
have been followed.  I suppose the grammar check isn't sophisticated
to declare "incorrect subcategorization frame".  AHD has a usage note
on this under "convince" and notes that a previous vote by the Usage
Panel (before I was on board!) declared that the prescriptive rule
was worth preserving, although the usage note also mentions that any
such a rule is widely violated or ignored in practice.


The American Dialect Society -

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