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What is the difference between

'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up.

Good Luck in all your endeavors'

versus

'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up.

Good Luck to all your endeavors'?

The first one sounds pleasant. The second one sounds like a good bye.

Does keyword 'really' have a role here?

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    Both are idiomatic, though I suspect the first more popular. The second sounds less personal, as good luck is being wished to the endeavours themselves rather than to the individual. Both are quite acceptable as a way of wishing good luck. – WS2 Jun 27 '15 at 19:45
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Telling someone "Good Luck in all your" sounds like you are telling the person good luck.

Telling someone "Good Luck to all your" sounds like you are telling the endeavors' good luck, not the person.

To make the latter correct, you could say "Good Luck to you in all your endeavors'".

  • I wouldn't use it, but there are over 500 000 Google hits for "good luck to your endeavors" -"bring good". The first few are all the 'wishing you ...' formula. So it's being very brave to label "Good Luck to all your ..." incorrect. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 27 '15 at 22:15
  • @EdwinAshworth That is what I am thinking to. But there seems a subtle difference in context above where the person could be in fact stating a good bye forever closing all forms of communication if using 'to' instead of 'in'. 'To' here seems to encode lot more information. – Brout Jun 27 '15 at 22:35
  • @Turbo I'd use "I wish you well in all your endeavours"; the illogical use of 'to' isn't applicable / available. Possibly, as you and WS2 say, your 'second [variant] sounds less personal', distancing the speaker, discouraging further communication. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 27 '15 at 22:50
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Wishing luck to your endeavors... ? I'd rather wish you luck in all your endeavors. Here's why: The endeavors are yours, directly dependent upon yourself, your state of being, circumstances, etc. If I wished you luck (better circumstances in your favour), you could win or become more successful.

Note: A google hit may bring up all that in current usage (both right and otherwise, because cyberspace is free-for-all and not subject to any control). However, it's up to us to choose the ones which correspond to our personality and expression.

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    This doesn't address OP's question, which is about nuances. Usage makes both acceptable (in spite of the to-version looking less logical). And Ricketts has already expressed this view. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 27 '15 at 22:45
  • This is interesting... how did I miss the previous answer? – Sankarane Jun 27 '15 at 23:25
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The sentiments are so similar that it's really just a matter of style. Since you care about the subtleties, I think the gist of the matter is this:

In usually designates encasement by the limits by or actual presence. It means you hope or believe the endeavors somehow possesses the quality of luck that will make them successful.

To usually designates a towards relationship. You're sending sending the endeavor luck. It may also indicate that the wish is for the endeavor to have greater luck than it already had before.

Using "In" seems like it might be better to send to a somewhat proud person, as a vote of confidence that things will go as they plan. Using "To" seems like more of an active blessing.

The referenced definitions are from Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.

  • So there is no negative connotation to using 'to'? – Brout Jun 28 '15 at 8:50
  • In some other very rare contexts there might be but in this one, I assure you there is none. I'd be more concerned about the word "luck" because some people lack even a modicum of humility and feel that their own efforts supersede external factors but that's a different factor altogether. – Tonepoet Jun 28 '15 at 9:41
  • ok thank you this is strange though. – Brout Jun 28 '15 at 9:47
  • What very rare contexts you are thinking? So 'to' is not a good bye here? – Brout Jun 28 '15 at 9:59
  • I have no idea why OP or anyone else here thinks that using "to" would imply a "goodbye". I agree with those who say "to" means you are wishing luck to the endeavor rather than to the person, which is very strange. – Brian Hitchcock Jun 28 '15 at 12:50

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