- On February 26, 2014
“I want to thank you for being so engaged and thoughtful around the direction of the company.”
So wrote a well-known CEO in a well-publicized letter to her employees.
Why the preposition around, which makes it sound as if the employees weighed in on something hovering about, but not quite connected to, the company’s agenda? If the employees’ feedback was as engaged and thoughtful as the CEO said, why not thank them for their ideas about the company’s direction?
Prepositions like around, about, across, and along are little words that can’t be used interchangeably, so be careful not to treat them like items at a swap meet.
We also tack them on where they’re not needed. “We’re going to execute on our plans.” “We’re delaying out the production timeline.” (Scratch on and out!)
It happens to all of us. Just the other day, I told my father I was planning out a college road tour with my daughters.
“You’re planning a road tour,” he responded.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.