way of life or way of living?

High on grammar

Senior Member
Farsi
Hello everyone:
According to ''Longman Dictionary of Common Errors'', it should be "way of life", not "way of living''.


As in : She loves the farm and refuses to change her way of life.

But I found an example on a famous educational site ( Quizlet.com) that defies this rule of grammar.

''Inventions like the telephone, light bulb, etc. changed American way of living and developed the economy in the U.S. by factory machines mass producing and selling everything at a lower price.''

And it should be: the American way of life.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

" changed american way of living"
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "The American way of life" sounds normal to me. Although I understand it without any problem, "the American way of living" sounds a little awkward and less natural.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Inventions like the telephone, light bulb, etc. changed American way of living and developed the economy in the U.S. by factory machines mass producing and selling everything at a lower price."

    It's a badly constructed sentence. Inventions changed American way of living and developed the economy by factory machines producing and selling...:confused:


    The American/British/ Japanese etc. way of life - you can learn it as a set expression. Compare the relative frquencies here:
    Google Ngram Viewer
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    ... that defies this rule of grammar
    It's not a rule of grammar—it's what linguists call a collocation.
    "Way of life" sounds more natural because it is said more often, but "way of living" is not "wrong"—it's just less frequently used.
    Economists talk about "rapid growth";
    the phrase "fast increase" would mean the same thing, but it's not customary to choose those words in economics.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I never said anything about that phrase being uncommon, HOG. I said that I thought it sounded awkward and somewhat unnatural. I still hold that opinion.
     
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