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He is scheduled to a confirmation hearing on January 24, 2013 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the same panel where he first testified in 1971, and of which he is currently the head; he must then be confirmed by the full Senate.

Could "scheduled to" be an error? Should it be replaced by "scheduled for"?

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4 Answers

"Scheduled for' is better grammar, but it could also read like "he is scheduled to appear at/before a confirmation hearing.

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So, "scheduled to" is excellent English? –  user36482 Jan 26 '13 at 8:18
    
No. "Scheduled to" is almost always followed by a verb. –  David Schwartz Jan 26 '13 at 20:17
    
I don't agree that scheduled for is better grammar. The two are just used for different grammatical structures. –  deutschZuid Jan 26 '13 at 21:52
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The Corpus of Contemporary American English has three records for scheduled to a, but none is an alternative to scheduled for a, of which there are 157 records. The corresponding figures in the (smaller) British National Corpus are one and eight. However, the one instance of scheduled to a is

When the order is made it is scheduled to a confirmation Bill and introduced into parliament.

It is taken from the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. Given the similarity between this and your example, it looks as if there may be a specialised use of scheduled to a, which is not found more widely.

EDIT: I have now looked at the source, and have to admit that scheduled to a confirmation hearing seems to be a straightforward solecism. Scheduled to a confirmation Bill in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland must be a highly specialised legal use. In addition to the corpus evidence, all 56 citations including scheduled to in the Oxford English Dictionary are followed by a verb phrase.

FURTHER EDIT:

The OED’s entry for the verb schedule provides this as its second definition:

To affix as a schedule (to an Act of Parliament)

and there is this 1885 citation in support:

A certain number of these are scheduled to the Act.

This is clearly the use made by the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. It is equally clearly not the use made by writer of the OP’s quotation.

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So, "scheduled to" is excellent (but very formal) English? –  user36482 Jan 26 '13 at 8:18
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@panit: No, "scheduled to" is piss poor English in the sentence in your question. It may be legalistic jargon in Scotland, but it's not normal, everyday English for the vast majority of native speakers of English anywhere. –  user21497 Jan 26 '13 at 8:24
    
@panit. Bill is right. As I said, it seems to be a rather specialised use, and one that is to be avoided elsewhere. –  Barrie England Jan 26 '13 at 8:32
    
@BarrieEngland - The following is put poorly with bad terminology - some linguistic Nazi (they have their place :-) ) may wish to suggest a properly worded version. | Even "Scheduled to" in the example you give seems to obey the "rule" that I suggest in my answer. In your example "scheduled" is, very unusually, a verb in isolation its own right, so the "to" form applies. Usually you get "scheduled to 'verb' ". Here the scheduling is its own subject. The scheduling is what its about. –  Russell McMahon Jan 26 '13 at 23:08
    
@Russell McMahon. There is no place for the trivialisation of term Nazi. –  Barrie England Jan 27 '13 at 8:25
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It's terribly written because the style is inconsistent. It should be:

He is scheduled {to appear at/for [CHOOSE ONE]} a confirmation hearing on January 24, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for which he first testified in 1971, and of which he currently the chair; he must then be confirmed by the full Senate.

I agree with amanda witt's answer: scheduled for is correct here, not scheduled to.

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In general (and not applicable here for the reasons already noted)

"Scheduled to" tends to relate to the performance of an action.

"Scheduled for" tends to relate to the occurrence of an event.

She is scheduled to dance at xxx -> she will dance at.

These two are close but different:

  • Jim is scheduled to have his appendix removed at 10 am -> the removal will be performed at

  • Jim's appendectomy is scheduled for 10 am.

While I may be drawing too fine a distinction here, I'd feel that the 'to' example is focusing on the actual surgery happening to the person, whereas the "for" example is more focused on the total event. As I reread this it sounds somewhat unlikely, but I still feel comfortable with this distinction.

... scheduled to be sentenced ...
... scheduled for sentencing ...

...

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I suspect that this is the cause of the piece in question. The author had a choice between "scheduled for a confirmation" and "scheduled to appear at a confirmation" and between the two choices, produced a bastard of the pair. I know that many of the mistakes I catch in my own writing have such half-choices as their cause. –  Jon Hanna Jan 26 '13 at 16:58
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