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    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    #1

    Prespositions ... again!

    This one has me thinking. How would you fill in the blank here?

    (Context: the statement implies that I don't bite the heads off people who call to sell me something over the phone, as I have also done this for a living and I know how hard it is).

    "I am very merciful ________________________ telephone sales people, because Iíve been there myself!"

    I am wondering if both with and towards can be used here. A Google search shows an almost identical number of hits for both, with towards yielding 17,200 and with yielding 16,000. Too close for comfort. A tossup, perhaps?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: Prespositions ... again!

    Both work. Here's the subtle, but costly difference:

    "with" a sense of togetherness, equality; e.g., Let's talk with Max.

    "towards" a sense of direction; i.e., from judge to lawyer; from me, the authority, to you the non-authority; e.g., Let's talk to Max.


    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    #3

    Re: Prepositions ... again!

    Thank you, Casiopea. I also got to thinking that "toward" would also have been a supplement to "towards", thereby adding more weight to that possibility.

    I'll make a note of using toward/towards and with from now on.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Prepositions ... again!

    Hold off on the possibilities.

    Everyone, including American Heritage, the Columbia Guide, Dictionary Reference, and wsu.edu is quotin' it, so I might as well join the gang:

    "Toward and towards (pronounce them either TORD[Z] or tuh-WORD[Z]) are Standard and interchangeable in meaning. American English uses both, but toward more often; British English uses towards more."


    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    #5

    Re: Prespositions ... again!

    Isn't that amazing?! That's the complete opposite of what I had expected. I was of the impression that the -s suffix was more American than British (with regard/regards to, toward/towards, etc.). I had no idea it was the other way around.

    Thank you for pointing that out.

    Bill

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