"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects of publishing books, so for a start you can speak to those people who will be out of jobs thanks to Google books."
I read this in a reader's letter to the Times today and wondered if such employment of the verb "concern" was correct or commonplace. Although not a native speaker, my first thought is that perhaps the phrase is missing a preposition.
Thus, "thousands of staff (who are) concerned WITH/IN".

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech and web/article6919335.ece
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"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects of publishing books, so for a start you can speak ... to the Times today and wondered if such employment of the verb "concern" was correct or commonplace. http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech and web/article6919335.ece

The use of "to concern" is strange and almost meaningless. I'd say that it is incorrect.
Although not a native speaker, my first thought is that perhaps the phrase is missing a preposition. Thus, "thousands of staff (who are) concerned WITH/IN".

That is one way of rewording it.
Another is "thousands of staff to be concerned with".

It is possible that the writer typed "concern" but was thinking "concentrate": "thousands of staff to concentrate on"

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
The most economical change would be to emend "concern" to "cover". Maybe it was a handwritten letter?

James
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"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects of publishing books, so for a start you can speak to those people who will be out of jobs thanks to Google books."

"to discern"?

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber (Email Removed)
"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects of publishing books, so for a start you can speak to those people who will be out of jobs thanks to Google books."

Well if all they do is concern things, they sound inessential to me, to say the least. They can concern things at home.
I read this in a reader's letter to the Times today and wondered if such employment of the verb "concern" was correct or commonplace. Although not a

There seeems to be a movement afoot to try to make a verb, yeah a transitive verb, out of every noun in sight. Everyone against this should sadlle up and meet me at the livery stable, and we'll catch them varmints and stop them. Bring a pistol and a rifle.
native speaker, my first thought is that perhaps the phrase is missing a preposition. Thus, "thousands of staff (who are) concerned WITH/IN". http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech and web/article6919335.ece

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
The use of "to concern" is strange and almost meaningless. ... but was thinking "concentrate": "thousands of staff to concentrate on"

The most economical change would be to emend "concern" to "cover". Maybe it was a handwritten letter?

Or another attack by an unmonitored spell=checker.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
The use of "to concern" is strange and almost meaningless. ... but was thinking "concentrate": "thousands of staff to concentrate on"

The most economical change would be to emend "concern" to "cover". Maybe it was a handwritten letter?

It wasn't a traditional Letter to the Editor which would have been checked for comprehensibilty by the Letters Editor. It was a reader's comment typed into a web form at the foot of the article being commented on. It would have been checked only for "unacceptable content".

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
In our last episode, (Email Removed), the lovely and talented Palia broadcast on alt.usage.english:
"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects of publishing books, so for a start you can speak ... a reader's letter to the Times today and wondered if such employment of the verb "concern" was correct or commonplace.

No. This is not consistent with the meaning of "concern" as a verb. "Subject concerns Object" means Subject gives rise to worry, cautious attention, or anxiety in Object or means Subject is associated with or pertinent to Object.
Thus in the active voice this should be:
Aspects (of publishing books) concern (publisher's) staff,

or in the passive voice:
(publisher's) staff are concerned with/by aspects (of publishing book's).

Thus, a minimal correction to the original would be:

Publishers employ thousands of staff to be concerned with many ... etc.

This result is consistent with the meaning of "concern." Although sensible, the correction may seem awkward to some writers who would be well advised to seek a better verb and in particular a verb that can bear the meaning in the active voice.
Although not a native speaker, my first thought is that perhaps the phrase is missing a preposition. Thus, "thousands of staff (who are) concerned WITH/IN".

In the above "staff" means people. The people cannot be pertinent to the aspects (second sense of "concern"). However, their positions (jobs) might be. So it would be sensible (although perhaps not best) to write:

Publisher's have many positions that concern aspects ...

Lars Eighner September 5922, 1993
301 days since Rick Warren prayed over Bush's third term.Obama: No hope, no change, more of the same. Yes, he can, but no, he won't.
"Publishers employ thousands of staff to concern many different aspects ... who will be out of jobs thanks to Google books."

There seeems to be a movement afoot to try to make a verb, yeah a transitive verb, out of every noun in sight.

BTW, they are also doing the opposite, making adjectives out of verbs that shouldn't have them. "This is very concerning to me". Ugh, no wonder those other people in the OP don't khow how to use "concern".
Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
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