Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: unlike in.

unlike in. Though some critics have called the phrase a “gaucherie” and worse, “unlike in” — in which “unlike” takes on an adverbial sense — is now common in American and British English alike. Of all the instances in which “unlike” appears, it is followed by “in” about 2% of the time — meaning, statistically, that it’s quite frequent. E.g.: o “But unlike in the primary, Cropp won’t be running with the support of John Ray’s well-financed mayoral campaign.” Rene Sanchez, “D.C. Council in the Throes of an Upheaval,” Wash. Post, 13 Sept. 1990, at C7. o “Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry is set today to propose new rules for the country’s auditing industry, but unlike in the U.S. it won’t go so far as to ban a company’s auditors from providing some nonaudit services.” Silvia Ascarelli & Marc Champion, “Deals & Deal Makers: U.K. to Propose New Set of Rules for Audit Industry,” Wall Street J., 29 Jan. 2003, at C5. o “Unlike in the days after the election, there was no grappling for meaning last night.” Brigid Schulte, “Love Flows for Morella at Tribute to 24 Years,” Wash. Post, 30 Jan. 2003, at B1. In those examples, there’s almost an elliptical “what happened” after “unlike,” so that the full phrase is “unlike what happened in the primary,” “in the U.S.,” or “in the days after the election.” This rationale may ultimately justify the phrasing. But careful writers will avoid it because some percentage of informed readers consider it poor usage. Language-Change Index — “unlike in”: Stage 4. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Language goes down to the deep social foundations of life.” Alexei Tolstoy, “Advice to the Young Writer” (1939), in Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexei Tolstoy, and Konstantin Fedin on the Art and Craft of Writing 231, 237 (Alex Miller trans., 1972).
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