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Pedants' corner

The secret to perfect lipstick...

(16 Posts)
Witzend Sat 19-Aug-17 14:15:23

This is on the front page of gransnet just about every time I look and it's really irritating me!
Should be 'the secret OF...' shouldn't it?

kittylester Sat 19-Aug-17 14:18:09


Marydoll Sat 19-Aug-17 15:03:20

I do miss the Pedants' corner threads. smile

Ana Sat 19-Aug-17 15:07:31

I'm not sure about this one. For example, you wouldn't say 'the key of perfect something-or-other', would you?

Ceesnan Sat 19-Aug-17 18:17:15

I would say "secret of" but "key to"...

Ana Sat 19-Aug-17 18:27:19

Well, yes - but why? Secret and key are both nouns.

lemongrove Sat 19-Aug-17 18:31:57

Of, I think, for secret but yes, key to! 🙄

Marydoll Sat 19-Aug-17 19:38:27

What about ? The secret to success is..... wink

Christinefrance Sat 19-Aug-17 20:47:40

Perhaps it should be ' the secret to applying lipstick perfectly ' smile

Jalima1108 Sat 19-Aug-17 21:35:25

what is the secret?
Mine always disappears after about 15 minutes.

Norah Sat 19-Aug-17 21:57:10

This secret is brilliant, to my lippy.

FarNorth Sat 19-Aug-17 22:46:44

The lipstick in the picture doesn't look perfect to me, anyway. Far too red.

Witzend Sun 20-Aug-17 09:32:22

Yes, it's the key TO, but the secret OF.

The fact that they're both nouns makes no difference.

Why do we 'go home' and not 'go TO home' when we go TO a house or TO the shops? (As I was asked more than once by Arabic speakers when teaching them English.)

Well, we just do! All languages that aren't Esperanto have their little quirks.

giulia Tue 26-Sep-17 13:10:30

"To" implies direction but "of" implies possession.

MamaCaz Sun 01-Oct-17 18:19:49

I would have thought that both are correct, but mean slightly different things.

MawBroon Sun 01-Oct-17 18:59:18

It seems perfectly obvious to me that something like the word “way” is understood and so the phrase has evolved into “The secret (way) to (achieving) perfect lipstick”