Thursday, January 22, 2009

Word News: The 'Meet With' Invasion

I see 'meet with' is becoming standard useage over here. It creeps into this picture caption. It sounds wrong to me, even though I've been hearing it said by Americans all my life. The meaning of the word 'meet' surely makes 'with' unnecessary and, in fact, ungrammatical. But, if we must have 'meet with', then I think we should also have 'meet without' as in, 'Yesterday I met without Barack Obama'. It makes perfect sense to me.


  1. Could be wrong, but I get the sense that a slight distinction in meaning has developed (or is developing). To ’meet’ someone is to bump into them on the street, casually and unexpectedly; to ‘meet with’ them is to hold a meeting ( “Obama is due to meet with the joint chiefs of staff …”).

  2. and don't get me started on 'visit with' . . .

  3. Just as a contrary observation, American usage is 'to write someone'; in Britain we 'write to someone'. I do shudder at 'meet with' and 'visit with'.