From 'Vocabulary' part of The ABC Of Plain Words by Sir E Gowers (1951)

Grammarians do not admit following as a preposition, though its use as one is becoming so common that they may soon have to give it de facto recognition. The orthodox view is that it is the participle of the verb follow, and must have a noun to agree with. Used as a preposition, it usurps the place of after or in consequence of or in accordance with.

Following our talk I am puzzled as to the reason for your letter . . I am investigating the position and I will write to you further following the completion of my enquiries.

Here after will do in both places.

It has been brought to my notice following a recent visit of an Inspector of this Ministry to the premises of . . , that you are an insured person under the Act.
Two Malays have been arrested following the attack yesterday on the Governor of Sarawak.

Here it stands for in consequence of or as a result of.

Following talks between the Railway Executive and the Union, it is proposed to reintroduce lodging terms in the Eastern Region.

After or as a result of is proper here.

It has a foolish air where it looks as if it were a participle agreeing with a noun or pronoun but makes nonsense if so read.

Following the orchestral concert, we come to a talk by Mr. X.

But its use is grammatical where it really does agree with a noun or pronoun.

Such rapid promotion, following his exceptional services, was not unexpected.
« Guide » « ABC of Plain Words » « Use Of English » « Library » « Home »