Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In OAAD, there's an example for the entry moderator:

moderators of online discussion groups

But I've seen the preposition for used in that context by native speakers too. Are they both correct? Or does it have something to do with different dialects?

Searching Google yields the following result:

  • Moderator for: About 1,980,000 results
  • Moderator of: About 6,000,000 results

So, the preposition of is more common. Is that the only difference?

share|improve this question
1  
English prepositions aren't always meaningful, and in some expressions, it's possible to substitute without changing the meaning. British and American English don't always use the same prepositions: at the weekend vs. on/during/over the weekend, e.g. More important with the phrase "X is {a/the} moderator {for/of} this site" is the article: the means there's only one, but a means there are at least two. I don't think it's possible to make any reasonable inference about the number of moderators based on the usage of of or for. I could be wrong, though. –  user21497 Jan 25 '13 at 9:59
add comment

2 Answers

I would say that "Moderator for" is referencing the main or only moderator for a site, while "Moderator of" indicates that this is just one of several moderators at a site.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I used to be a moderator for the site boards.ie

When I was, I was moderator of the Paganism, English, Programming, and Sex & Sexuality forums.

The first statement expresses the relationship that rôle had to the site. The second, the relationship that rôle had to particular forums.

The two could overlap. For a while I had responsibilities relating to the entirety of the site, so it would have been correct both to say I was a moderator for the site, and a moderator of the site.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.