power of prepositions

2022-08-25

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~1 min read

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154 words

I was listening to Bart Wilson on A Curious Task (link). Around the 46 minute mark, he starts talking about the phrase “to have property in”. This ends up turning into a bit of a discussion about the role of prepositions.

He references some older literature on the topic that describes all prepositions as having a relationship between two physical things and a functional relationship between those two things.

They ran to the hills.

vs.

They ran for the hills.

In the former, the hills are a destination. The hills are the important part. In the latter, the hills are secondary to the action. You want to know know why they’re running for the hills. What happened in town (or elsewhere) that made the hills seem safe?

I’m sure I was aware on some level of the power of prepositions, however, I loved this illustration and I’ve been thinking about it since.


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!