It's always been an article of faith (for, to, with) him ..

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hyperslow

Senior Member
Polish
Hello there!

Well, today I was trying to show off my new linguistic acquisition I find quite useful to know... but ... I stuck in the middle of the sentence wrestling with and fumbling for a suitable preposition. It's also likely that the structure I used is rubbish. If it's the case that it is rubbish could you please suggest a more fortunate phrasing.

It's always been an article of faith (for, to, with) him to go to the bookshop and check the latest issue of The Gardener.
I'd go for 'for' but my gut feeling tells me that 'with' may do the job in this sentence. What's your view, dear posters?

hyper
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You could use either one.

    However, "article of faith" refers to a belief, not an act. I could say "It's always been an article of faith for her that gold prices would eventually rise," or "... that her wayward husband would return," or "... that a hurricane will eventually blow that tree down," but not going to the bookshop. That might be a habit, though.
     

    hyperslow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    That really makes sense, Egmont.:D If we called his going to the bookshop a habit, what would happen?
    He used to pop in the small bookshop around the corner, call it an article of faith if you must.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ...He used to pop in the small bookshop around the corner, call it an article of faith if you must.
    I'm sorry, but that's still not an article of faith. Changing a few words, such as "go" to "pop," doesn't make it one. "Faith" means "belief" or "religion." It can only refer to things that happen inside your mind.
     

    hyperslow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, Egmont.... wait a minute... How about this one: In China and Japan it was an article of faith to replace European railway workers by local employees as soon as possible. I've just found it in the BNC. It (an article of faith) seems to represent something outside the realm of thoughts.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The article of faith here was that they should be replaced as soon as possible. The railway administration then put their beliefs into practice by replacing them. The author left out this detail.

    If you look for something in a large enough database, such as the British National Corpus in this case, you will find examples of bad usage as well as good.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Egmont's
    "article of faith" refers to a belief, not an act.
    should be re-read.

    It is an unshakeable idea that (i) you deeply believe (ii) that sets you apart from others and (iii) which you will refuse to change even in the face of contrary evidence. The belief is more important than reality and nothing is going to change your mind.

    “It was an article of faith with him that a sentence could not end in a preposition.”

    As grubble’s example shows, it can be used trivially to humorous effect, e.g “It was an article of faith with him that the milk always went in first when making tea.”
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    If he has a certain kind of belief about the bookshop, you can use "an article of faith" to refer to it.

    He checked the bookshop window at least once a week. It had always been an article of faith with him that any book featured there would be a book worth reading.
     

    hyperslow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    @ Cagey
    Do you find my original sentences particularly odd, impossible, feasible...
    It's always been an article of faith with him to go to the bookshop and check the latest issue of The Gardener.
    He used to pop in the small bookshop around the corner, call it an article of faith if you must.
    cheers
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    @ Cagey
    Do you find my original sentences particularly odd, impossible, feasible...
    It's always been an article of faith with him to go to the bookshop and check the latest issue of The Gardener.
    He used to pop in the small bookshop around the corner, call it an article of faith if you must.
    cheers
    Dear hyperslow. I think it is an article of faith with you that if you ask us enough times we will eventually agree with your sentences. ;)
     
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