Posted December 3, 2009on:
Despite correcting grammar and spelling for a living, I get in an awful jumble if asked to justify certain grammar rules out loud. When confronted by this piece of grammar vandalism at the doctor’s surgery yesterday I was mightily relieved I didn’t have to explain the difference between owing and due to anyone.
Looking it up this morning didn’t make things any clearer – apparently ‘owing to’ is prepositional (and means because of/on account of), while ‘due to’ is adjectival (and means attributable/caused by). Neither definition clarifies anything as far as I’m concerned. However, Collins, the big daddy of all dictionaries declares that while the use of ‘due to’ as a preposition was formerly considered incorrect, it is now deemed acceptable. Phew. Panic over.