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November 08, 2007


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Clare Lynch

'Responsible to' though? Surely it should have been 'Responsible for' cleaning, wiping etc. One is responsible to a person but not a thing.

I'm afraid I wouldn't have been able to have stopped myself correcting it with a big black marker, Lynn Truss style. Or am I just a preposition pedant?


Clare, good comment. I accepted the unusual "responsible to" because it allows the use of action verbs (clean, wipe, etc.). These work better than the gerund forms (cleaning, wiping) in the bullet points. Although "responsible to" is unusual, I couldn't think of a reason other than familiarity to use the longer "have the responsibility to," a heavier noun phrase.

I know I am on shaky ground. And I admit that I myself would not have used "responsible to." But when I read it, it made sense to me.

None of my reference books touch this topic. Do yours?

Thanks for commenting. I wouldn't recommend defacing public property on this one, though.



"If you use the room, you have the following responsibilities:"
How's that?

Business Writing Blog

Grunwald, I like it! Thanks for commenting.



Thanks so much for this, found as a google search and will be used in my office!

Business Writing Blog

Hi, Toby. I am glad you found the rules helpful.



Hi Lynn,

This is great! You give me an idea, to my Boss's room. Now, I don't have to worry when someone's requesting to borrow it.

Business Writing Blog

Hi, Mylane. I am glad to be helpful.


conference tables

I'm not going to comment on the grammar of the writing piece because I am not a grammarian; however, I do want to thank you for posting the list. It is, as you stated, concise, and it is the perfect list of rules to display around my office's conference tables. Thank you.

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