Talk:for all intents and purposes

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Have pity. This is not the idiomatic expression that "to all intents and purposes" is a variant of. The fixed form is "to...", and "for..." is a mistake. --Milkbreath 20:33, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Groan... bad memories. Good luck with this type of pedantic proscription here. If I couldn't prevent "for all intensive purposes" from getting it's own entry (and a spot here as an "alternative form") despite an embarassingly brutal argument, the odds aren't in your favor that folks will "have pity" on your prosciption of this valid phrase. -- Thisis0 17:11, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
This isn't quite the same. Not that I am opposed to the inclusion of for all intensive purposes. We probably should also have proper-noun entries for Moreover, the dog, and Gladly, the cross-eyed bear. DCDuring TALK 17:26, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Could be. What's your evidence or what authority would you cite? DCDuring TALK 20:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Google books shows about twice as much usage of the "to" form as of "for" form. Perhaps it depends on what verb the noun phrase "all intents and purposes" is being used with, which I have not yet investigated.
Investigation shows that in the most recent five-year period the "to" and "for" forms are used equally among books on Current usage on news overwhelmingly favors the "for" form. Because our search engine would get a user to the "for" entry even if they had typed in the "to" form and the "to" form appears as an alternative form and in the etymology, little harm is done from omitting an entry for the "to" form. We may add an entry for the "to" form, but probably with a usage note indicating that is becoming less popular. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
The British National Corpus has to outnumbering for 98-7. The BYU American Corpus has it the other way round 203-34.--Brett 15:09, 18 April 2008 (UTC)