They are different from you and me: Lax usage

People who have worked hard at perfecting their writing and language use sometimes cringe when they read or hear what they consider lax usage. What stands out like a weed in the flower patch to them doesn’t even register with other people. For example, some readers are keenly attuned to the difference between "different from" and "different than."

The argument is that "different from" is more idiomatic in front of a noun or pronoun because different is not a comparative adjective and shouldn’t be used with than. So we would use this construction, as an N&O story did, "That position underscores the stance Perdue has now formally adopted, one that is much different from her election-night pledge."

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.