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View Diary: WalMart Walks It Back (126 comments)

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  •  An implied causal link (1+ / 0-)
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    Land of Enchantment

    "Before" is a neutral term meaning preceding.  The only relationship it connotes is one of position or sequence.  

    "Ahead of" as a complex preposition suggests a deliberate connection between the noun subject and the object of the prepositional phrase.  If not a directly causal relationship about why the sentence subject is happening now, at least an added piece of key information to underscore the significance of the timing or sequence.

    However, I agree, over-use does get a bit wearying.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 05:28:29 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the first definition in Merriam-Webster online (0+ / 0-)

      be·fore: adverb or adjective bi-ˈfȯr, bē-\
      : at an earlier time

      That's what the writer is saying, isn't it? Why use a two-word idiomatic expression with no explicit expression of "at an earlier time" when there's a common pronoun that exactly matches the intent of the writer? I just don't understand. It's just journalese to me.

      I think you're inventing your own definitions here, which is your right, of course. But by doing so, you sow confusion. And as we all know too well from events, confusion in language ultimately sows social and political confusion. Call this nitpicking if you like, I don't care. I'm just trying to help.

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