The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

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Katya O.
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The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

Postby Katya O. » 2018-04-22, 14:25

Hello! :)
What's the difference between "for" and "of" in titles? For example:

Center FOR Biomedical Ethics. Can we use here "of" instead of "for"?
The same with Ministry of Internal Affairs FOR the Republic of...
or
Ministry of Internal Affairs OF the Republic of...?

If there is the difference, explain, please.

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langmon
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Re: The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

Postby langmon » 2018-11-17, 14:29

Katya O. wrote:Hello! :)
What's the difference between "for" and "of" in titles? For example:

Center FOR Biomedical Ethics. Can we use here "of" instead of "for"?
The same with Ministry of Internal Affairs FOR the Republic of...
or
Ministry of Internal Affairs OF the Republic of...?

If there is the difference, explain, please.


C2 non-native of English:
As a start, I always would recommend looking at one particular word's meaning in isolating. I.e. when it is said without anything before it or after it.

Then only after doing so, I'd look at the combination of all the sentence's words.

"of" serves the same purpose as the " 's ".
Like "the cake of the mother", and "the mother's cake".
These two are _basically, underneath it all, and without looking at the very details_ the same.

And" for" is different. "A cake for the mother" is a cake which has been baked with the intention of being given to her, for example.

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Even if it isn't an Entirely Fully All-Purpose Complete Answer.

(And as I am writing these lines, well, I almost even _expect_ someone else to comment on just anything found in my post. But still writing it :)).
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linguoboy
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Re: The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-17, 15:50

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:C2 non-native of English:
As a start, I always would recommend looking at one particular word's meaning in isolating. I.e. when it is said without anything before it or after it.

Then only after doing so, I'd look at the combination of all the sentence's words.

"of" serves the same purpose as the " 's ".
Like "the cake of the mother", and "the mother's cake".
These two are _basically, underneath it all, and without looking at the very details_ the same.

And" for" is different. "A cake for the mother" is a cake which has been baked with the intention of being given to her, for example.

Possessive s conveys this meaning in English as well. In fact, I would argue that the default interpretation of "the mother's cake" is "the cake for the mother", although "the cake baked/brought by the mother" is possible as well.

The possessive isn't relevant to the OP's question in any case. You can't replace "the Center for Biomedical Ethics" with "the Biomedical Ethics' Center". (You could, however, use "the Biomedical Ethics Center", i.e. a noun-noun compound.)
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Re: The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

Postby md0 » 2018-12-17, 16:30

Katya O. wrote:Hello! :)
What's the difference between "for" and "of" in titles? For example:

Center FOR Biomedical Ethics. Can we use here "of" instead of "for"?
The same with Ministry of Internal Affairs FOR the Republic of...
or
Ministry of Internal Affairs OF the Republic of...?

If there is the difference, explain, please.


Also non-native here, but my impression is that it's (also?) a dialectal preference.
What I have to offer is:

Minister/Secretary/Someone FOR Foreign Affairs: UK, Australia, Malta, EU, Scotland (local), Wales (local), Kenya, Singapore, Ireland

Minister/Secretary/Someone OF Foreign Affairs: USA, the Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa

It's not a 100%, but most Commonwealth and Anglophone former-British colonies went with 'for'. And the EU, unsurprisingly, adopted the terminology used by its Anglophone members.

I don't know if it also correlates with parliamentary vs presidential system.
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Re: The use of "for" and "of" in titles and the difference between them

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-17, 5:12

Katya O. wrote:Hello! :)
What's the difference between "for" and "of" in titles? For example:

Center FOR Biomedical Ethics. Can we use here "of" instead of "for"?

I would say yes.
The same with Ministry of Internal Affairs FOR the Republic of...
or
Ministry of Internal Affairs OF the Republic of...?

If there is the difference, explain, please.

Yes, I think both are possible. However, IME Americans at least like to avoid repetition, so they may use for just to avoid saying of of of throughout the phrase.


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