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At work today, I wrote "we have several XXs. We should consolidate on one XX."

A colleague corrected it to consolidate into.

Which is correct?

I'm English and my colleague is American, if that makes a difference. Googlefight ranks them as about equal.

UPDATE The actual XX is fairly technical and obscure so I'll use algorithm as a stand-in.

We use several algorithms for calculating the score. --several paragraphs later-- We should consolidate on a single algorithm.

The separation between the problem statement and the solution leads me to believe that skipping the preposition won't work.

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Is there confusion between consolidation and standardisation?

  • Consolidation combines or joins several things together into one solid thing.

  • Standardisation chooses one of several things and makes everyone use that one unchanged thing. Use of the other (now non-standard) things is then discontinued.

Perhaps "standardise on a single new† algorithm".

substitute "composite", "consolidated" for "new" according to needs or taste.

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Selection doesn't quite sound right to me. The thing we want to consolidate on/into is new so it's more than standardise. It's 'create a new thing and standardise on that'. –  Kevin Lawrence Jan 20 '11 at 16:50
    
Agreed, answer updated. I'm not sure if you thought of standardise before or after I edited that part of my answer. Try "Standardise on a new algorithm" or "Standardise on a composite algorithm" or even "Standardise on a consolidated algorithm" –  RedGrittyBrick Jan 20 '11 at 16:56
    
I saw your answer about 29secs after you updated. I like your latest suggestion and will go with standardise. But, since this is America, I will spell it wrong. –  Kevin Lawrence Jan 20 '11 at 17:09
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We should consolidate them into one XX.

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I think it depends upon the situation. The big entity consolidates on small entity and small entity consolidates into the big entity in the accounting terms. Safest way is just to use consolidate and omit the preposition.

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Neither item is conceptually bigger or smaller. –  Kevin Lawrence Jan 20 '11 at 16:47
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