RE: Working "with"; working "on"

Subject: RE: Working "with"; working "on"
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <kevin -dot- mclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 14:51:44 -0400

Kevin McLauchlan wrote (in part):
> A Test Engineer asked me a question using the "working on" construction,
> and I had a brief "forgot to study for the big test" moment, until I
> asked some clarifying questions and reminded myself about something I'd
> done two weeks ago. If he'd used the "working with" construction, I
> would not have had the same feeling of "have I dropped a ball?", and I
> would probably have gotten to what he wanted to know more directly.
> Since it was obvious I'd gone off on a tangent as I scrambled to orient
> myself to his original question, he asked me if he should have worded it
> differently. I began to explain, but then wondered if I'd be giving him
> a personal distinction but not a generally held one.
> What say ye, O expert ones?

I'd say "work with" means "use" if it's a thing or "collaborate" if it's a person.

And "work on" means something like "develop" or "construct" or "repair" or
"test" if it's a thing and "persuade" or "cajole" if it's a person.

-Fred Ridder

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Working "with"; working "on": From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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