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Also schemas can communicate over database links to schemas in other remote databases.

Could one replace the preposition over with through?
Will it change the meaning, and if so, when should we use over instead of through?

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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • "Over" is used to illustrate mediums (physical, ethereal, or otherwise).

We communicate over the phone, over email, and over brain waves.

  • "Through" expresses means or methods.

We communicate through phone calls, through emails, and through mental telepathy.

  • "Through" may also be used when employing a third party to handle messages being communicated.

We communicated with spirits through a shaman.

I communicated with my estranged ex-wife through a lawyer.

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"Over" implies a physical connection or transport mechanism. "Through" can be the same, but may also be used indicate intermediate steps in the communication. "Mary answered David through Adam". But never "... over Adam."

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It really depends on context. There is a slight difference between them, but it is small.

If it the link is created somewhere else, such as another program and especially a physical cable, or if it can be used for other things, then you would use over.

If the database link is specifically to let schemas communicate, then it would be communicate though the link. In other words, if the schema actually creates the link, it would be communicating through it.

But all that is getting very technical. Like I said, the difference is very small, you could use either of them either way.

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"Over" works, but to me, "communicate over" implies a physical connection of some sort, such as "communicate over the phone" (implying a physical connection over phone lines). Other Google search suggestions for "communicate over" include "communicate over LAN" or "communicate over network"—all implying physical connections.

"Through" works better for me. Other alternatives include "via" or "by way of," both of which feel better to me in that sentence, but I can't give a good explanation as to why, so it's probably just personal preference.

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So "through" could convey the same meaning of "by way of", at least in this example. Isn't it? –  user19148 Jul 26 '12 at 22:23
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