Re: English usage: to "subscribe" to a course?

Subject: Re: English usage: to "subscribe" to a course?
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Yves Barbion <yves -dot- barbion -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 07:34:38 -0400

Right! The meaning is clear, but it's not what I'd say. I would sign up
for a course, register for it, or enroll in it. I might subscribe if it
were a correspondence course that arrived weekly via the post office.

You would join the environmental action group, and perhaps subscribe to
their newsletter.

The spelling of enroll may also be enrol in the UK.

The double preposition in "sign up for" indicates that it is a
colloquialism and thus careful writers might choose to avoid it. They
would be especially careful if the prepositions fell at the end of a
sentence: "That's not the course I signed up for." The word
"preposition" suggests being in front of something--obvious to any
French speaker, of course--but at the end of a sentence those
prepositions are behind everything! On the other hand, if one takes a
Germanic point of view, "up for" might merely be part of the separable
verb "to up-for-sign".

Yves Barbion wrote:
> Hi techwhirlers,
> when I review English documents written by Dutch authors, I often see the
> phrase "to subscribe to a course" in the meaning of "to register for/to sign
> up for a course". In my opinion (but I'm not an English native speaker) you
> "subscribe to a magazine/newspaper, or to an organization, for example an
> environmental action group. I also have the feeling that "to subscribe to a
> course" is a "false friend" (from the Dutch "zich inschrijven voor een
> cursus").
> Any opinions?


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English usage: to "subscribe" to a course?: From: Yves Barbion

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