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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



Several English-Japanese dictionaries have notes stating flatly that the preposition "from" is not used with the verb "start" in reference to time, as in "School starts from September" or "The examinations start from Monday." The reason for those notes, I suspect, is that editors and educators have noticed that Japanese people speaking and writing English--influenced by `--use "start from" much more often than native English speakers, who are more likely to say "starts in September" or "start on Monday."

But "start from" does occur in English, so it should not be marked as a mistake. Many of the examples on the Web are from countries in which English is not the native language, but there are also hits from English-speaking countries, especially Britain:
A half-day taster session takes place tomorrow at the Subud Centre in Station Street, Lewes, from 2pm to 7pm. The course itself starts from September 15 in Lewes and sessions will take place on Sunday afternoons.

A week of wildlife activities starts from Monday, 21st April. Highlights include Dorset Wildlife Trust information, butterfly conservation information, wildlife friendly products, colouring competition for children, specialist talks, hands-on planting for children and wild flowers & seeds.

To mark national 'No Smoking' day today, Sandwell Health Care NHS Trust is launching a complete ban on smoking in its buildings. The total ban will start from Sunday April 1 and will affect all of the Trust's buildings, car parks and grounds.
(April 1, 2003)