I absolutely agree. I think the expressions go, I favor London over Paris, and I prefer London to Paris.I prefer London to Paris.
The "over" version sounds very odd to me - but not, apparently, to others
With a following direct object the normal construction of prefer is with to (he preferred honey to marmalade)...
New Fowler's Modern English Usage
Yes, I think it does make it more acceptable, although "to" is still fine, and what I would use. I can't put my finger on why it would become more acceptable in the passive though.What if we change the verb to passive? Does it make any difference?
this version is preferred over the other
To me it sounds better than the active form with "over" for some reason.
How about the verb 'favor'.
I agree with you. I would use "over" with the verb "to favour". This fits in with what I said all those years ago above about "over" being more acceptable with "to prefer" if the nuance is "to prioritise".How about the verb 'favor'.
I favor London over Paris.
I favor London to Paris.
I did hear a translator put into English a grandma's words to her daughter-in-law on TV: I favor boys to girls. It is not natural, isn't?
The scene was the grandma would like to have a grandson rather than a granddaughter born, given that her in-law was allowed to bear one child only as per China's family planning rule. If the translator interpreted her meaning as that she favored boys over girls, would that make sense, or the correct verb should be 'prefer' ?Edit - but I wonder if in your example the translator had really got the verb wrong, and they meant to say "I prefer boys to girls" and so got the preposition right but the verb wrong.
A sexist teacher might favour boys over girls and therefore give them higher marks on their tests, but a dance teacher might prefer boys to girls because they dance better (completely made up example!!)