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I prefer to say we're like the Chinese with their pigs. Every part gets used, even the squeal.

That's like the Scottish too! Everything inside the skin gets used to make haggis... Then they use the skin and the squeal to make bagpipes...
RickyC
My point is that I've found no obvious aide-memoire other than "it sounds wrong to somebody else's ear but not to mine" to remind me which one is "right" or "standard".

Assuming that you are happy with "similar to" and that you wouldn't say "similar from" you might try remembering that the opposite of "similar" goes with the opposite of "to" ... "different from".

Cheers,
Daniel.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
My point is that I've found no obvious aide-memoire ... to remind me which one is "right" or "standard".

Assuming that you are happy with "similar to" and that you wouldn't say "similar from" you might try remembering that the opposite of "similar" goes with the opposite of "to" ... "different from".

That's an extremely useful way to remember; thanks.

Cheers, Harvey
Canada for 30 years; S England since 1982.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
My point is that I've found no obvious aide-memoire ... to remind me which one is "right" or "standard".

Assuming that you are happy with "similar to" and that you wouldn't say "similar from" you might try remembering that the opposite of "similar" goes with the opposite of "to" ... "different from".

Another way:
If A is different xxx B, then A differs xxx B.
To my ear the only xxx that sounds right after differs is "from". "Than" and "to" sound positively wrong.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)