Would you tell me what is the difference between "being equal to someone/something" and "being equal of someone/something"?
The Ngram suggests that "equal to" is far more common than "equal of", but I know "be equal of someone/something" is a legitimate expression. So, I conclude there should be specific case in which it's preferred over "equal to".
Is there a very specific or narrowed usage for "be equal of"? I mean, when do you prefer "equal of" over "equal to"? Does "of" allow for specific sentence constructions that "to" can't?
For example, let's use a Longman's sentence:
- "It would be an extensive and sometimes brutal business, but the Society was the equal of the challenge."
What would happen if I change it to
- It would be an extensive and sometimes brutal business, but the Society was equal to the challenge.