Our first entry in the “Prepositional weirdness” category (also known as “It’s only a preposition; how important can it be?”) comes from Salon.com. Thanks go out again to Scott Douglas for sending this.
How important can a preposition be? Well–it can make the difference between a headline no one would look askance at for grammatical reasons, like “Chocolate produced by child labor, says new report,” and one like Salon’s, which stopped our contributor and at least me for a long moment. “Chocolate produced from child labor”? I suppose if I were to think about it long enough I might be able to come up with a reason for using “from” instead of “by” that didn’t have anything to do with a) sheer laziness or b) poor usage, period.
I don’t feel like thinking that long, though.