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"The problem was down to the media."

What does that mean?

Q1. I know it to mean "The problem was caused by the media." Am I right?

Q2. If so, can't it be used in the meaning of "The problem spread to the media" at all?

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thanks3

"The problem was down to the media."

What does that mean?

Q1. I know it to mean "The problem was caused by the media." Am I right? Yes.

Q2. If so, can't it be used in the meaning of "The problem spread to the media" at all? No, but give an example of "down to" with that meaning if you have one so we can take a look at what you might mean.

CJ

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Oh, Thank you again Emotion: smile And that's enough. The phrase just sounded to me as it could mean other things when I interpreted it in my mother tongue.

And while I'm at it, Mr CJ, can 'planting pots' mean 'plant pots'? You use 'planting pot' in the meaning of 'plant pot'?

I got it! Thanks again Emotion: smile

I just asked to get confirmed because my dictionary didn't say about 'a planting pot', only 'a plant pot'. These days I feel a lot there are much difference, sometimes, between what my dictionary says and what native speakers say. That's why I asked you and keep posting questions. And I'm very thankful to you and other native speakers Emotion: smile

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thanks3What does that mean?

Well might you ask. It is modern "hip" lingo, apt to be misunderstood given the many, many uses of "down to" that do not constitute an attempt to sound trendy. It is not so "hip" that I can call it slang. Be aware of it, but avoid using it. Even conventional native speakers will sound like boobs, as this writer does.

The OED shows two separate "chiefly British" definitions for this "down to" that could easily be confused in many contexts. This is the main trouble with such neologisms. They have a sort of floating semantic content. If they didn't, they would not challenge the reader to be as hip and trendy as the writer thinks he is.

1. "To be attributable to." This is the meaning in your question, probably. If you use "down to" for this, it will sound like you don't know the word "attributable" or any other clear, standard way of putting it. The first citation is a quote from 1955.

2. "To be the responsibility of." What was wrong with "up to"? First citation 1970 in Scotland Yard, seemingly from a glossary of criminal cant.

Okay, thank you for your advice Emotion: smile