Re: Graduated... or graduated from?

Subject: Re: Graduated... or graduated from?
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 05:56:40 -0400

Just to throw in another wrinkle, when I was in high school (Midwest, 1960s) and there was such a thing as _correct_ usage (prescriptivist to the max), we were taught that a person did not graduate at all but rather "was graduated from" an institution. This was not only one of the few accepted uses of passive voice but also a required use of passive voice. It is, in this construction, the school that actively graduates the student. Podunk University graduated a class of 500 last Saturday.

That seemed archaic to our ears then--informally we always said John graduated from Podunk U rather than John was graduated from Podunk U--and now it sounds positively antediluvian. However, this provides some context for the OP's dilemma and for the usage panel's polling results. Clearly this is a usage that has gone through a major transition in the last, say, 75 years, a fairly short interval in terms of linguistic change. So there is still some flux associated with it.

David Neeley wrote:

Generally, it appears to me that "graduated" is more an East Coast
use, "graduated from" seems to be more Midwestern. In the West, there
seems to be more of a mixture of the two...perhaps depending upon the
origin of the user?

I was born in Ohio, and moved to Texas at 12...but it was much later
that I began to notice the "graduated" form especially from New
Yorkers. Later, I lived for some years in the Los Angeles area and
noticed the mixture, while the majority seemed to use "graduated" when
I was in Florida.

The American Heritage Book of English Usage, 1996, though, comes down
clearly on the "graduaged from" construction. After stating that
eighty-seven percent went with "graduated from" as being proper, they

" The Usage Panel feels quite differently about the use of graduate
to mean "to receive a degree from," as in She graduated Yale in 1980.
Seventy-seven percent object to this usage."

Just as with much else in our changing language, this is open to
considerable debate--or so I'd imagine.



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Graduated... or graduated from?: From: Phillip St. James
Re: Graduated... or graduated from?: From: David Neeley

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