I have a question about the combination "criticized from" in these news articles:

article 1:
1. But with her seven-year term set to expire in July, Justice Poritz has been harshly criticized from both ends of the political spectrum in recent months.

article 2:
He's been criticized from the left for failing to focus on the economic causes of inequality.

The meaning probably wouldn't change too much if "criticized from" is replaced with "criticized by". Maybe it is just a journalistic style.

But for native speakers, does "from" convey some hidden meanings that "by" lacks?


In the US, there are two ends to the political spectrum: the left and the right. Loosely speaking, the left is more liberal, while the right is more conservative. You can read more about American politics on your own.

Here, from indicates a sense of direction. In the first example, the judge has received harsh criticism, and that harsh criticism came from the left side and the right side of the political spectrum. In the second example, criticism came from the left side.

In both examples, you could replace from with by. Since by would indicate the body or group that did the action, in the second example, the left in the directional sense would not work. It would have to be the political body called the Left. I believe it should be fine for the first example.

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  • I get away with writing "John was criticized from Jane"? – meatie Aug 9 '16 at 0:48
  • No, I believe it has to be by because Jane is doing the criticizing; she is not a direction. But, you can say "John received criticism from Jane". – Em. Aug 9 '16 at 1:16

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