… standing for re-election as president in 1972, Richard Nixon was due to make history. He was going to match FDR`s record for being on the national ticket for his party in five different elections. FDR had stood for vice president once. Of course, he stood for president four times…
The Britishism is “stand”–the exact Americans equivalent is “run.” I mentally filed away the example and planned to eventually write a post on it. I expected that I would find that it was a true one-off from the mouth of Maddow, who studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and is quite fond of British expressions.
Well, it’s at least a two-off, as Nancy has detected another use, in last Sunday’s New York Times magazine: “… Jeff Flake, in a speech announcing he would not be standing for re-election…”
The author of the article, Sasha Chapin, is Canadian. Following a Twitter discussion, ace Anglo-American linguist Lynne Murphy kindly searched a corpus of Canadian English. She found three hits for “run for election” and six for “stand for election.”
Still, even if it was normal for Chapin, the usage got by the Times copy editors. Oh, I forgot, the Times has eliminated the position of copy editor.
Anyway, such is the press’s need for elegant variation, I expect to see “stand for election” pop up again.