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In this NPR news excerpt, it says

They can easily talk about these steps and techniques to making a safe tackle.

It is wrong and should be make right?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Making is fine here.

Mr. Jackson is using the preposition to, not the infinitive marker to.

He is not employing an ‘infinitive of purpose’ and speaking about how steps and techniques are performed in order to make a safe tackle.

Rather, he is speaking about the steps and techniques which are involved in making a safe tackle. Use of to in this sense is common in conversational English (note that Mr. Jackson is not reading from a script but speaking off the cuff). And it is not unknown in more formal contexts:

There is a certain art to saying ‘no’ tactfully.
The steps to constructing the Load Chart are as follows ...
There is a special technique to writing television, a special craft ...

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You mean both "steps to write/writing" "technique to write/writing" are fine? With only slightly different meanings(in order to or involved in)? –  CYC May 12 at 2:24
    
@CYC Well, the only important "step" to writing I know of is to stop staring at the blank screen and write, but, basically, Yeah. –  StoneyB May 12 at 2:28

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