RE: A grammer question: "associated with" or "associated to"

Subject: RE: A grammer question: "associated with" or "associated to"
From: "Trese, Timothy G." <Timothy -dot- G -dot- Trese -at- SAICSeals -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 14:36:28 -0500

Okay. Lose the passive construction first.

"We associate the widget with/to the gadget."

So it's a transitive verb in this sense, and widget is the direct

The v.t. in my dictionary (Webster's II New College. New York:
Houghton-Mifflin, '95) has three definitions:

1. To unite in a relationship
2. To connect or join together; link
3. To connect in the mind or imagination <~ tulips with springtime>
[end quote]

The lexicographer who compiled the above used "with" in his example. And
if that isn't good enough, I think Chris D's argument holds water; it's
idiomatic in English that we use "with" with "associate," even though
there isn't a grammatical rule forbidding "to." Don't ask why unless you
want to do linguistics research at the postgraduate level.

BTW and IMHO, "associate" is probably a pretty fuzzy verb for most
technical applications. Is there another verb that more precisely
defines the relationship between widgets and gadgets? WHY are they
linked/united/associated in peoples mind's?

Tim Trese
Documentation Specialist

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