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Graduate From

I graduated from college in 1990. From college! When people leave out the “from” and write “I graduated college”, it looks about as wrong to me as writing “I went school”. And yet, I see that usage everywhere now. I just don't get it.

Maybe part of the problem is the fact that “graduate” isn't a very common word. I can only think of two other ways that it can reasonably be used. One, in chemistry lab you might have to use a graduated cylinder, which is a vertical glass tube with marks up the side. Two, in a newspaper article about a graduation ceremony you might see something like this.

The college graduated a thousand students.

That suggests this stupid joke.

In Soviet Russia, college graduates you!

Actually, it turns out that the joke is on me, because my dictionary says that I'm wrong too.

Usage: A strict traditionalist would insist that she was graduated from college is the only correct usage. But the usage she graduated from college is by now entirely acceptable, and the variant without a preposition, as in she graduated college, is rapidly gaining ground.

It's amazing that the trend was visible back in 1982; I only noticed it myself over the past five or so years. It's also amazing that language can change that quickly. I mean, I know new words and phrases show up every year, but most of those are just stupid fads, not permanent changes to the core language.


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@ December (2014)