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"James Watt invented the steam engine, which substituted machine power for human power." I've read this phrase, and thought "that can't be worded right, it ought to be 'substituted human power for machine power,' as in 'substitute this for that." Is the phrase worded correctly, or am I gone and crazy?

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"Substituted X for Y" means removed Y and replaced it with X. The sentence means that the steam engine removed human power and replaced it with machine power.

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    You need to add a supporting reference (one is given in the duplicate). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 12 '18 at 0:20
  • @EdwinAshworth Why bother now that the question has been identified as a duplicate? – StackOverthrow Apr 12 '18 at 16:58
  • The comment was given to encourage good practice in future. And to indicate to others the type of answer ELU, a site aimed at linguists, considers appropriate. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 12 '18 at 19:41

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