Question: Can around be used to mean concerning?
Background: As an academic editor, I have come across the usage of around as in concerning or about (i.e., having to do with) in numerous PhD dissertations. Around in this sense often collocates with research, as in the contrived example:
Research around this topic has yet to yield any useful insights.
I haven't been able to find any discussions dealing with this usage, but I have found that:
- non-spacial definitions of around do not appear to cover any meaning similar to concerning or about (in the sense of concerning) (e.g., Merriam-Webster)
- existing discussions on the usage of around as in about deals with meaning similar to approximately (e.g., Garner's Modern American Usage)
- This list of synonyms for concerning includes about, but not around.
I'm thinking that because about and around are interchangeable or vary regionally when used to mean approximately, writers transfer this interchangeability to other meanings. In this case, I mean that the meaning of about that denotes relevance is being transferred (inappropriately) to around.
Because of all this, I have, in every instance, changed around to concerning, about, on, etc, but, I'd love confirmation that this is a necessary change. Can anyone point me to any resources that validate this usage of around?