Friday, July 4, 2008

"scheduled for", not "scheduled at"

Many Chinese say "The meeting is scheduled at 8am July 8.", probably because that's a direct translation from Chinese. But "at" is incorrect unless the schedule was made at 8 o'clock; it should be "for" instead. If you do need an explanation, it's because "at" refers to the time this scheduling action is done, not the time the event being scheduled will happen. So it's reasonable to make this sentence: "After long discussion, at 11pm Sunday night, they scheduled the meeting for 9am Monday." But it may cause some confusion or at least a few seconds' pause if it reads like "After long discussion, they scheduled the meeting at 11pm Sunday night for 9am Monday", although I think it's understandable.

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