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I was wondering which one of the following constructions below is grammatically correct? Or both are acceptable?

  • Something to the rescue!
  • Something for the rescue!
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    Neither makes sense without more context. 'Lassie to the rescue!' // '_We are going to need a helicopter for the rescue!' '_What!?' '_A helicopter for the rescue!' Grammaticality isn't the only factor to be considered when writing. 'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.' is totally grammatical. And total nonsense. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 1 '14 at 10:20
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In the USA at least, "X to the rescue" is a phrase commonly used to imply that X is going to arrive on the scene and rectify the situation in some way.

I have never heard the phrase "for the rescue" before. There are perhaps some situations where it would make sense, but for the most part it just sounds weird to me. For example, it might be an intentional mashup with the phrase "For the win" (commonly heard in online gaming circles, along with a few other "for the ..." variants). Perhaps things are different with other English dialects, but in general American parlance that is almost certainly not the best way to say whatever it is you are trying to say.

  • Yes, "for the rescue" sounds wierd for me too. I've seen this somewhere and I did not think it to be correct, and since I am not a native English speaker, I thought I'd get some confirmation. – EmpireFalls Aug 1 '14 at 10:58
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In the specific example you give, "Something to the rescue!" is the correct one, if you are referring to the common ejaculation indicating something is about to engage in aid of the current situation.

That is not to say there are no situations in the English language in which the words "something for the rescue" is a valid combination.

  • There's someone in the river! We will need a lifebelt for the rescue. – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 11:04
  • @EmpireFalls Please read What to do when someone answers. – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 11:05
  • @AndrewLeach - That's still not the phrase I'd expect to hear in that situation. (More like: "to save them") – T.E.D. Aug 1 '14 at 11:07
  • @T.E.D. Yes; but it's grammatically and semantically correct and makes the point that for the rescue can be valid. – Andrew Leach Aug 1 '14 at 11:11
  • @AndrewLeach - Perhaps technically. But I'd argue even there it should be "for a rescue" instead. Better yet, "his/her rescue. There are many uses of "the" that are technically correct by any reasonable rule linguists have been able to devise, but are still never used. (or worse yet, used in some dialects, but not others) – T.E.D. Aug 1 '14 at 11:13

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