The standard way to use "prefer" when comparing level of preference is to say:
I prefer A to B.
I've read something about voting and have come across multiple preferences using "to" chained together. This is from Wikipedia:
This is illustrated by the following example of Condorcet's voting paradox:
- 40 voters preferring candidate A to B to C
- 35 voters preferring candidate B to C to A
- 25 voters preferring candidate C to A to B
This sounds strange to me. I'm not sure why this is. In any case I have done a search on this and I get many results for:
- "prefer a to b to c"
It seems that most results are of things that discuss math or decision-making theory, just as the part I quoted does. However I realized that these particular results are for a sentence comparing abstract terms (stand-ins or variables) "a", "b" and "c", not actual things like, I don't know, dogs and cats.
I know answering a question such as if this is normal or standard may not be possible to answer. However is there something going on here grammatically that would allow us to accept that it's grammatical based either on a general rule, or is it a simple understanding that indeed it is possible to chain your preferences in this way?
Also, can we conclude that there's actually nothing strange about this construction by way of considering other examples as analogies?
- Scissors beats paper beats rock? (I don't think so).
- The floor is made of tiles over ceramic over concrete (I'm not sure if this is analogous).