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The new prevelabce of "to"

13 replies

IamPickleRick · 20/10/2017 08:07

I keep hearing this now instead of other prepositions.

What do you think to that?
I can't speak to that.
What are your throughts to that?

I keep hearing it in interviews and reading it in articles but ir always jars me a little. Even though it isn't wrong, it seems a little affected.

The same as the new prevalence for "wanting"

I am "wanting" to do xxx
What type of cake are you "wanting"

Am I getting old? Grin

OP posts:
IamPickleRick · 20/10/2017 08:07

Eurgh... the title of this upsets me. Bloody phone!

OP posts:
BreakfastAtSquiffanys · 20/10/2017 08:10

It's THE LAW that all opening posts in Pedants' corner must contain a typo!

Missingthesea · 20/10/2017 08:22

I think the "to" is a regional usage that's just becoming more widespread because we hear it more often on TV etc. Not sure about the "wanting" but perhaps that's the same?

IamPickleRick · 20/10/2017 12:07

I see wanting most in Facebook posts when people are looking for recommendations so I can only assume they are "wanting" (see what I did there) to appear more professional in their questioning.

The "to" though, I saw in the Guardian today. Harvey Weinstein's publicist said he could "speak to anonymous accusations" and I wondered if perhaps everyone has said it this way all along and I had never noticed until recently.

OP posts:
IamPickleRick · 20/10/2017 12:08


Honestly I shouldn't be allowed in Pendants' Corner.

OP posts:
midsomermurderess · 20/10/2017 12:16

Things like 'speak to' are, in my experience, not uncommon in legal circles, eg 'the facts don't speak to that'. I agree about 'wanting' and the now ubiquitous 'loving' as in 'I am loving'. Very irritating and it sounds quite childish.
My principal bugbear is 'myself'. What on earth is wrong with just saying 'me'?

DadDadDad · 20/10/2017 13:48

Honestly I shouldn't be allowed in Pendants' Corner.

No, but you are welcome in Pedants' Corner. Grin

madcatwoman61 · 20/10/2017 13:51

As in ‘where’s he to?’ 😁

StealthPolarBear · 20/10/2017 22:43

It's a recent thing op. People at work "speak to the slides" and I do wonder what the slides might respond.

MrsMoastyToasty · 20/10/2017 22:47

You would hate it in Bristol! We say "Where's he to?" when we mean "Where is he?"

AliMonkey · 20/10/2017 22:56

I correct all the actions in others' meeting minutes from using "to". For example, the action "X to circulate the list " should be "X will circulate the list". But I've not yet found anyone in RL who agrees with me. Tell me it's not just me who finds that use annoying!

EBearhug · 20/10/2017 22:58

You would hate it in Bristol! We say "Where's he to?" when we mean "Where is he?"

Dorset too.

StepAwayFromCake · 21/10/2017 00:18

I think "What are you wanting?" is an ignorant reaction to British manners.

It can be rude to say "What do you want?" so people try to try to get around it. Of course, the correct question would be "What would you like?"

It doesn't break grammar rules, but it jars because that formation means something different with most other verbs:

What do you play? I play piano.
What do you play? I play the piano.
Both refer to a general situation, no time-sense implied.

What do you want? I want cake.
May refer to a general or current situation, no time-sense strongly implied.

What do you want? I want the cake.

  • has a sense of time in it because it refers to right now.

With most verbs, the -ing formation means 'right now', so if you can do:

What are you playing? I'm playing piano. to give the sense of right now,

why not do What are you wanting? I'm wanting cake.?

(And I'm giving up on iPhonic punctuation.)
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