Maybe I'm being thick but I feel that whether to parse this as an adjective or preposition is a contested issue and a stupid question:
Can anyone point me to some intelligent discussion on this? I feel like they've taken a dogmatic position and rolled out a bunch of questions based on it which anyone who sees it differently will necessarily struggle with... but I can't remember where I would find an opposing view.In the usage of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the phrases due to and owing to
were used in different environments in English, as these examples illustrate:
He was late owing to an accident.
His lateness was due to an accident.
Here, owing to is used as a preposition and could be paraphrased as ‘because of’, whilst due to is used as an adjective meaning as much as ‘attributable to’. Where an adjectival reading is possible, it is generally preferred.
Which of the examples below exhibit the correct usage of owing to and due to according to the pattern above? (1 mark each)
(a) Owing to an accident just under an hour ago, the concert had to be cancelled.
(b) Paget cites an instance of blue saliva owing to staining the tongue with an aniline pencil.
(c) A sharp slowdown in growth could undermine the banking system stability owing to the poor quality of the loan portfolios.
(d) The Montenegrin frontier remained in dispute for some time due to the lawless independence of local tribes.
(e) The souring of wine, due to the beginning of the acetic fermentation, is one of the commonest of the so-called ‘diseases of wine’.
(f) Teignmouth made the short trip to Torquay with a slightly unbalanced squad owing to a shortage of backs.
(g) There were more than 1,000 deaths of this class, with only one death specifically stated as owing to homicide.
(h) Two more parliaments were only of two years duration each, owing to changes in the Administration.
(i) The decrease in the price of horses was certainly not owing to the number of horses thrown on the market.
(j) The generalization that all infectious diseases are owing to the introduction into the bodies of susceptible individuals of living germs capable of reproduction is based upon exact knowledge.
(k) It has been frequently observed that there are more miscarriages of justice due to the actions of judges than can ever be attributed to the action of juries.
(l) Doctors are required to offer free treatment that they consider to be immediately necessary due to an emergency.