PREPOSITIONS. more restricted in meaning now than in Elizabethan authors
Prepositions: modern tendency to restrict their meaning.
One general rule may be laid down, that the meanings of the
prepositions are more restricted now than in the Elizabethan authors:
partly because some of the prepositions have been pressed into the
ranks of the conjunctions, e.g.
"after;" partly because, as the language has developed, new
prepositional ideas having sprung up and requiring new prepositional
words to express them, the number of prepositions has increased, while
the scope of each has decreased. Thus many of the meanings of "by"
have been divided among "near," "in accordance with," "by reason of,"
"owing to;" "but" has divided some of its provinces among "unless,"
"except;" "for" has been in many cases supplanted by "because of," "as
regards;" "in" by "during."