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Q. My editors cannot seem to agree on whether to use in or to in the following (and similar) sentences: (1) The bill (or law) makes technical changes in the insurance statutes; (2) The bill (or law) makes technical changes to the insurance statutes. What is the difference between “changes in” and “changes to,” and how does one determine which construction to use?
A. There is no difference, and there’s no need for consistency. If your editors are fiddling with these, they might be overstepping. If there is some arcane legal difference in meaning, they should be able to tell you what reference book or style manual or dictionary supports their decisions. It’s not Chicago style!