Customary Prepositions

Prof. Mark Liberman (Language Log) has a nice post illustrating how the prepositions one uses with particular adjectives — identical to vs. identical with, similar to vs. similar with, equivalent to vs. equivalent with — are a matter of custom, and sometimes changing custom. Prof. Geoffrey Pullum (Language Log) has more, in another recent post, though this one about the prepositions used with verbs:

You arrive at or in a place, not to a place, but you welcome someone to a place. That’s just the way it is. Nobody promised you a rose garden: nobody guaranteed that languages would be easy or fair or logical or commonsensical. They are simply as they are. Deal with it.

And that’s deal with it; *deal to it and *deal on it are ungrammatical. Don’t complain to me: I didn’t invent English; my job is simply to describe it.

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