Recently there is dramatic increase in the use of looking to verb as in:
Jeff is looking to start something big.
- Is this acceptable grammar?
- Why is it recently popular?
- What could best be used in its place?
From the American Heritage Dictionary:
I think this may answer all of your questions except "Why is it recently popular". It may be popular because in my opinion, it doesn't quite mean either "expecting to", "planning to", or "hoping to", but somewhere in between; less definite than "expecting to" or "planning to", but more definite than "hoping to". So it may fill a niche which, until this phrase, had no good verb to fill it.
To be looking to do something is to plan to do something. You can use
as an alternative.
The Recency Illusion strikes again. Look followed by to followed by an infinitive has been in use, in the sense of ‘expect’, since Thomas Hobbes used the construction in his ‘Leviathan’ in 1651.
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