Posted: 16 Feb 2014 08:24 PM PST
I first noticed the nonstandard use of the preposition of following alerted in this item on a site about uncompassionate government policies:
When I did a web search of the phrase “alerted of,” I found hundreds, mostly in headlines:
The verb alert and its past participle form alerted are usually followed by the preposition to:
The adjective alert is also followed by to:
The idiom “on the alert” is followed by for:
Alert entered English in the 16th century from French alerte, “watchful, vigilant.” The word originated in Middle French as a phrase used by the military: à l’herte, “on the lookout, on the watch.”
Alert is used as a noun to mean “a call or military signal to prepare for an attack; a warning of potential danger; an announcement to look out for.” Some examples of this use are: tornado alert, red alert, Amber alert.
As a verb, alert is transitive: The shopkeeper alerted police to the presence of the wanted man.
The nonstandard use of “alerted of” instead of “alerted to” may be the result of confusing alert with warn. People are warned ofdanger, but alerted to danger.