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How should I understand the preposition “for” in “She is Miss Asia for 2006”?

Why not say “She is Miss Asia in 2006”? What’s the usage of “for” here?

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This is only a guess based on intuition as a native English speaker, but I'd think you could call this an implied or abbreviated phrase. Using only the word 'for' implies the meaning 'for the year of' in this context. –  Mike Hometchko Apr 18 at 14:56
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4 Answers 4

To me, “for 2006” has the meaning of “for the duration of the year 2006”, whereas “in 2006” would mean “at some point during the year 2006”. So the first emphasizes the duration during which she holds the title, namely from election up to the end of the year. The latter emphasizes the event of the election itself.

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whereas “in 2006” would mean “at some point during the year 2006 -Does it mean that Miss World in 2006 held her position/title for some period (of time?) and not up to the end of the year? –  Maulik V Apr 18 at 11:59
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@MaulikV: in my opinion, “in” does not carry much connotation with duration of any kind. It does not conradict her holding the title for the remainder of the year, but neither does it support that view. –  MvG Apr 18 at 12:06
    
I think we use for for the current year or even future (What are your career plan for the future?) and in for the past year. As I added in my answer. What are your plans for this year over What were your plan in that year. Putting for in the latter sentence looks a bit unnatural. What say? –  Maulik V Apr 18 at 12:09
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@MaulikV: I think your answer has merit as well. It's not the aspect I consider most important, hence my own answer, but it is a valid aspect to this distinction. On the other hand, I don't think “plans for that year” to be unnatural. Talking about “my plans in 2006” I'd outline what ideas I had in 2006, even though implementing them might have taken much longer than that year, and some might have had no timeframe attached to them. Instead “my plans for 2006” would be more of a schedule of things I had planned for that year, perhaps even things I had planned in 2003 but later decided against. –  MvG Apr 18 at 12:22
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This sentence "she is/was Miss Asia for 2006" is actually slightly ambiguous, although not in a way that makes a difference in this example.

First meaning:

I don't know the name of the grammar rule, but it's because 2006 has a Miss Asia (exactly one Miss Asia I assume), and the sentence is asserting that she's it. I guess it's derived from "for" meaning "on behalf of".

It would be correct to say either "she was Miss Asia in 2006" or "she was Miss Asia for 2006" or even "she was Miss Asia of 2006". The second and third emphasise that there was a role and she was the person filling it, "Miss Asia for 2006" is a noun phrase. The first just tells you at what time the event "she was Miss Asia" occurred.

With this first meaning, you can even say in 2014, "she is Miss Asia for 2006". She's not Miss Asia any more, of course, but she's always "Miss Asia for 2006", so you can just about support it.

Second meaning

"For 2006" indicates that the event occurred for the full duration of the year. So "I was employee of the month in 2006" means I won it at least once in that year, but I don't specify which month(s). "I was employee of the month for 2006", if it means anything, suggests that I won it 12 times in a row. Since Miss Asia is a yearly contest, there's no such difference in your example.

I don't know when in the year the Miss Asia competition is held, or when the office officially changes hands. It's possible that Miss Asia 2006 does not in truth hold the office for the calendar year 2006, but would be natural to permit that inaccuracy anyway. "For 2006" might be understood to mean "for the competition year 2006-7 running from when she won it to when the next one was held". Or it might be that Miss Asia 2006 is chosen in 2005 and takes office on 1st January. I really don't care ;-)

With this second meaning, you would only say "she is Miss Asia for 2006" during 2006, or before 2006 if she's the Miss-Asia-elect who hasn't yet taken office, or when using the historical present. In 2014 you'd normally say "was".

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+1 You got it. "Miss America for 2006" is a noun phrase and a title. It accentuates that there was only one in that year. "Miss America in 2006" doesn't sound as sexy because it is more of a description. –  Aleksandr Dubinsky Apr 18 at 15:50
    
@AleksandrDubinsky I disagree! The title is Miss America 2006 it does not require for by any account. –  Maulik V Apr 21 at 13:14
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This might be an utter wild guess but my horse-sense says it has some logic.

In such sentences, the preposition for is generally used when we refer to the contest of the present year. Having said, if someone is elected Miss today, it'll be for year 2014.

If it is the past event, a girl is crowned Miss in that year. So, if someone was crowned in 1998, it'll be She was Miss [anything] in 1998.

In your example too, it reads is, the present tense and hence the sentence is spoken/written in that current year i.e. 2006. Thus, it might have taken for.

Surprisingly, Google supported my wild guess! When I searched for the correct phrase Miss...for (year), it returned the results of particular years in present tense. And, when I searched in, it returned the results of those particular years in past tense!

This is wonderful: Check the results Miss World 'for', it shows only three results and all are of this current year!

Miss World 'in': Results of the past years

enter image description here

Miss World 'for': Results of the current year

enter image description here


Isn't it quite similar to: What are your plans for this year. AND What were your plans in that year.

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It doesn't have to be the current year. Although it would usually only make sense to speak of “Miss World for [present year]” it would be perfectly valid to say things like “she will be in Japan for [future year]” or even “today she received the Maggio Directing Fellowship for [next year].” –  Tyler James Young Apr 18 at 14:43
    
@TylerJamesYoung I specified there - current means present year at that time. Your comment is the crux of my answer! –  Maulik V Apr 18 at 14:48
    
I'm not sure I understand. Your answer seems to say that “for” would be used to refer to the current year. I guess based on your comments here and on MvG's answer you recognize the broader uses of “for” to indicate the duration of any year (past, present, or future), but your answer is currently completely focused on a difference that just happens to be true for this contest and isn't true in all (or even most) cases of “for” vs. “in”. –  Tyler James Young Apr 18 at 14:56
    
@TylerJamesYoung Let's keep it simple. I said for is common for the current year (2014) or in future, in is common for the past years (early than 2014, say 1998). But if the news belong to some date of 1998, when it was being written, it was current year than. –  Maulik V Apr 18 at 15:07
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Is it just me, or are all the examples of "...in..." explicitly with the meaning "crowned [..] in 1998", not "Miss World in 1998" ? It's an entirely different linguistic relation. –  Peteris Apr 18 at 18:49
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This is an example of "for" used to mean "on behalf of."

Miss Asia is a yearly contest (actually there are several different Miss Asia contests with slightly different names, run by different organizations; presumably this is just referring to whichever one is the most influential). There is one winner — a titleholder — selected each year. Pageant winners in particular are thought of as representing that particular year, since they're often called on to show up at civic and promotional events during their "reign."

Here's a similar example that demonstrates this usage more clearly, by using a place rather than a time:

"She is the company's supply chain manager for the southwestern US."

The choice of "for" creates a strong association between the geographical region and the job title. It's another way of saying "She is the supply chain manager responsible for the southwestern US." (Calling her "the manager" also helps.)

Contrast with this sentence:

"She is a supply chain manager in the southwestern US."

Here we are stating that she lives or works in the area, but her job title isn't strongly associated with "the southwestern US" in any way.

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