Wrong Word Wednesday #40

Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television.

Compared To or Compared With?

I had to stop and consider this afternoon when editing a piece of work. The client used “compared with” and I wanted to use “compare to” – I’ve heard both phrases and they are used interchangeably. Curious, I looked it up to see if there was a difference… and there is.

Use with – when pointing out the differences between objects that are categorised as the same. Newcastle United’s poor run of results after Christmas can be compared with a similar run of results last season

Use to – when pointing out the differences between objects that are categorised as different. Somebody whose life has been fraught with drama might compare their life to a soap opera

However, Daily Writing Tips suggests that there are other similar differences.

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