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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally

A couple of days ago, I noticed an American/British difference that I hadn't been aware of. The following sentence appeared as an example of the phrasal verb leave out in the galleys for an English-Japanese dictionary:
He was left out of the national judo team.
This sounded strange to my American ears; I would have expected "He was left off the national judo team."

When I did a Google search for "was left out of the team," most hits were British or referred to sports such as soccer or rugby. Since the examples in this dictionary are supposed to reflect American English, I changed the sentence to "He was left out of the discussion."
(January 6, 2003)