For example:

I'm a reporter and I have to write an article about the death of a baby in a hospital. The baby died in suspicious circumstances. I go to the hospital and ask a person:

( which one of these sentences is correct? )

What is the story of the baby who died in this hospital?

What is the story with the baby who died in this hospital?

(I mean I want to know more in detail about this misfortune)

Thank you in advance.

  • The first sentence is about the whole life of the baby, from his birth to his death. The second one is about the events (related to baby's death) that happened in the hospital. – Graffito Oct 23 '15 at 23:15
  • @Graffito I doubt any hospital personnel cornered by the reporter would interpret "What's the story of the baby who died in this hospital?" as a request for the baby's biography. – deadrat Oct 23 '15 at 23:33
  • 1
    @deadrat - According to the context, I can't disagree. – Graffito Oct 23 '15 at 23:38
  • @Graffito Comment upvote for the litotes! – deadrat Oct 23 '15 at 23:39

I think a good illustration of the difference between "story of/story with" is the title of the chapter in Joseph the Dreamer by K and L Perotta:

What's the Story with Joseph's Dreams?

For those not familiar with the Genesis accounts, Joseph had the power to interpret dreams, his own and others. For example, as a boy, Joseph dreams that the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to him; In prison in Egypt, Joseph dreams of seven lean cows eating seven fat ones. What I've just told you are the stories of Joseph's dreams, i.e., the narration of their content. The book chapter on the other hand, goes beyond that giving you not only the narration, but the events that surround them, their interpretations, and the consequences of those interpretations.

Story with is the detailed explanation in context; story of is a simple narration.

In the OP's example, when the reporter asks for the story of the baby's death, he's asking for the timeline -- admission, treatment, crisis, death. What the reporter probably wants is the story with the baby's death -- parental involvement, hospital negligence, and whatever else makes for good headlines.

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