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.

I'm correcting a document and several people that co-wrote it seem to agree that 'my choice for' seems to be synonymous to 'my choice of', in the signification of me having chosen something and indicating what exactly my choice was. E.g. 'my choice for Japan as my travel destination'.

To me this seems wrong, a choice 'for' should be used to indicate a reason or goal, or a person that will be affected by the decision in my experience with English ('I chose a book for English class' - 'my choice for my daughter's education is school X'). Is this true or is saying 'my choice for chicken as dinner' correct English?

share|improve this question
    
What is your choice for dinner tonight? Do you view dinner as a goal? –  Robusto Jan 7 '13 at 21:00
1  
'for dinner' seems to me a rather idiomatic expression. Could you say 'What is your choice for favourite football team?' –  waldo Jan 7 '13 at 21:20
    
@Waldo In the US we'd just say "What's your favourite football team?" Of course we're talking about a different football. :) –  StoneyB Jan 7 '13 at 23:17
    
I think you may be onto something, but it's hard to say for sure when we don't get to see the rest of the sentence in your example. 'A long-held desire to see where my grandparents lived was behind my choice for Japan as my travel destination' sounds acceptable to me. –  J.R. Jan 8 '13 at 16:37
add comment

2 Answers 2

OP is mixing up two different constructions...

My choice of [one out of several possible options].
e.g - My choice of chicken for dinner was made on health grounds.

My choice for [some particular role which your choice fulfils].
e.g. - My choice for dinner was chicken, because it's healthier than red meat.

I can't say exactly why OP's 'choice [of] chicken as dinner' is wrong. In that exact construction, "as" doesn't sound at all good to me. But if, say, an American was talking about how he'd voted, "My choice of Romney as president turned out to be a minority opinion" sounds reasonable. Perhaps that's just because I conflate it with "My vote for Romney as president...".

share|improve this answer
1  
Correct. You might note, however, that under these constraints OP's 'my choice for Japan as my travel destination' is wrong - it should be my choice of Japan for my destination. ... As dinner is wrong because one has chicken (for dinner*. But one might be unsure whether to employ it as dinner rather than, say, as a featherduster or as a football. –  StoneyB Jan 7 '13 at 23:23
    
@StoneyB: Suppose the cook had chicken and fish, and needed to choose which to use for/as dinner, and which as supper? Could she not say "My choice of fish as supper was subsequently endorsed by Google Books - fish supper:9320, chicken supper:6090". Sounds plausible to me. –  FumbleFingers Jan 8 '13 at 2:09
    
Well, GB has 227 hits on "choose for supper" and Zero on "choose as supper". I'd dock her pay on stylistic grounds, and fire her for being so insecure in her own professional judgment that she'd refer the question to GB. –  StoneyB Jan 8 '13 at 2:29
    
@StoneyB: Dang! You is a hard taskmaster, Boss! She only the cook - she ain't got no schooling in reading an' writing an' such! Anyway, although Google Internet has 4900 hits for "choice of romney for president", and only 2 for "choice of romney as president", does that make the second version "wrong"? Or just "much less common"? –  FumbleFingers Jan 8 '13 at 2:39
    
"X as president" doesn't bother me, though I personally would not "vote for X as president" because to my ear that's too close to implying either that I am president or that X already is. –  StoneyB Jan 8 '13 at 2:49
show 1 more comment

You are correct, these two phrases mean different things.

Compare these:

My choice of chicken for dinner [was a good one].

My choice for dinner was chicken.

My choice of (one of two or more things) ie, chicken as opposed to anything else on the menu.

My choice for (a separate object not connected to the things avaible for your choice)

The separate object could be a reason (I chose this car for the simple fact that it's the best there is) or an object/person (I chose this car for you because it's the best there is).

I think this is best shown by the fact that My choice for is not a phrase that is often heard, it sounds more like an announcement. It is best reworded as I chose ... for.

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.