I found some figures followed by "according a CNN poll" from New York Times. My instinct says it has to be "According to (then) a CNN poll" for it to be grammatical. Is it a simple mistake of the author or some other way of using "according"?
closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Drew, Glorfindel, curiousdannii, NVZ May 10 '17 at 5:22
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It is not clear to me if this is a simple production error, or a more interesting variant of the "according to" construction. In either case, I would recommend against using it yourself: "according to" is much more common and much more clearly acceptable.
Definitions of "error"
This specific case certainly might be a typo (it’s common enough for short function words like “to” to be omitted by accident).
However, there seems to be a good amount of evidence that some speakers do use the “according [noun phrase]” construction, without any preposition, with the meaning “as said by/in [noun phrase]”.
So it seems possible that the author found this construction grammatical; in that case, it would not be a simple “production error”.
It could still be called an “error”, but only if we use this word to mean something else that is probably harder to define. For example, someone who maintains that this construction is an “error” even if it was used intentionally by the author might mean any of the following:
- “I find it grammatically unacceptable”
- “Most English speakers would find it grammatically unacceptable”
- “It is rarely found in standard written English, and a good publisher would only let it be published through oversight”
This is where evidence comes in, since we can see if evidence supports or contradicts any of these statements.
There is some evidence suggesting it is not a production error, but I haven't found a ton of it
The Oxford Dictionaries entry for "according" cited by other answers is evidence that the construction is used often enough to have been noticed by lexicographers. This indicates that there are probably some people to whom it is grammatically acceptable, even if these people are a minority. (The statement “usually according to” indicates that at minimum, most people prefer the version of this construction with “to”.)
It is also possible to find a number of examples of the construction without to from a Google Books search, which is often a helpful approximate indicator of English usage in published text.
The diffusion rate of electric appliances has continued to be advancing at a steady pace, according a survey by the Japan Electric Machine Industry Association.
The Oriental Economist, Volume 34, Issues 663-674 (1966)
According a trade source, the value of contracts concluded between Japan and China at the Kwangchow Trade Fair showed a decline.
Technocrat, Volume 7 (1974)
Sandista forces killed 136 insurgents and lost 28 soldiers in northeastern Nicaragua during the last month, according a spokesman for the Nicaraguan Defense Ministry.
Latin American index, Volumes 10-13 (1982)
According to Interior the mine fires began July 1960 at the Centralia dump and have been monitored for carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions since 1980. In 1983 the underground fires caused the ground at one location in the town to collapse, according a department spokesman...
(another page) Excluded from coverage by the regulation are small containers of waste produced by laboratories and placed in drums, according a technical assistant at the state’s Pollution Control Board.
Environment Reporter, Volume 16, Issues 1-26 (1985)
I think these last two examples are especially interesting as they occur in the same publication, and the first one is near an instance of “according to”. This could possibly mean that the author thinks of the a constructions as having different meanings or uses, although it could just be a case of free variation. Alternatively, it could support the hypothesis that the omission of "to" is an unintentional production error or typo.
Evidence suggesting it is just a common production error
Here are two examples I found that definitely supported the "production error"/"typo" hypothesis:
Each of these has one single example of "according the", and many more examples of "according to the" (15 for the first, 21 for the second).
I wasn't aware of this usage before. The example from your question, "according a CNN poll", is grammatically unacceptable for me, and apparently also for Drew (an American English speaker) and Glasseyed (who seems to be a Canadian resident). Edwin Ashworth (a UK English speaker), says he would not use it, although he doesn't find it totally unacceptable. I haven't seen a comment from anyone saying that they do use the construction.
Since the construction "according to [noun phrase]" is more common and as far as I know is entirely acceptable for all speakers, that is the form that I would recommend using.
I don't think that there is enough data, or that I am good enough at analyzing it, to be able to say much about who uses "according [noun phrase]"; and in fact, I'm not sure even after going through corpus results that it is a genuine grammmatical variant of the "according to [noun phrase] construction": it still seems possible to me that in the examples that can be found, it is either a production error, or perhaps a non-native formation in some cases. I haven't found any document where "according [NP]" is used consistently, or even at a near-equal rate to "according to [NP]".
No, the to is common but not required, as definitions will tell you:
(usu. according to) as stated by or in:
we have the world's most expensive public transport, according a recent survey.
Your instinct is correct. "According a" is either an oversight or a sign of…well, I wouldn't care to speculate.