Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tendencies

From the BNC:

the ... tendency of 212
a ... tendency of 15
the ... tendency for 142
a ... tendency for 257

I can't say I see a difference in meaning, but "a tendency of" does sound odd. I wonder why.

4 comments:

Mr. Stout said...

"a tendency for" sounds most natural to me. Don't think I've ever used the others. I think I may also use "a tendency to". For example:
In Japan, there is a tendency to blame entrance exams for just about everything. ;)

Brett said...

You don't like any of these: ?
1 HGR , N(T2), in the denominator of Equation 1.3 has the effect of weakening the tendency of high frequency individual tags. A similar investigation was carried out using the trigram
2 JJD less informality and genuine understanding. I must also say that I resent the tendency of the Act to line the pockets of lawyers out of the tragic situations of families
3 A5Y police forces and occupational cultures that are predominantly masculine and working class. The tendency of sergeants to follow the field-worker around and to ask what she had learnt also
4 EB2 extent the law can be considered to have endorsed the corporatist perspective. The tendency of legal doctrine to permit and even require the directors of a company to weigh
5 B2P bringing suit against his master; furthermore, after the Trajanic SC Rubrianum the tendency of the whole process before the praetor fideicommissarius was towards a declaration by the judge
6 CN5 them as a means of selecting employees. Again, Moore comments on the tendency of employers to prefer hiring or promoting those whose commitments to family and home will
7 CN5 confined to art. Ball and Lacey, for instance, have pointed to the tendency of non-specialist English teachers to be more attracted to transmission pedagogies than their specialist counterparts
8 EAJ so pessimistic. He certainly feared "class legislation" and he recognized the tendency of social legislation to destroy the moral fibre of the nation. But he took
9 EAJ and ruin involved in a departure from the rule of law". The tendency of recent legislation also provided cause for concern. Modern legislation had increasingly vested quasi-judicial
10 EVP to fix or freeze the meanings of words of such importance. But the tendency of such an argument is in the direction of complete relativism, or an entirely

Brett said...

By the way, in "a tendency to", "to" is a subordinator, not a preposition.

Lisa said...

Oh, yes! And my cat has the tendency of getting angry when I step on her tail.
:-)