I'm chuckling, Izzy. Smile

The reason I said followed with ... in the other posting was that I didn't want it to look or sound silly, i.e., I would have had to write followed by by.

There's no big difference between using by or with in this context. It's just that saying by by would look and sound funny!
Something that may be cultural rather than purely linguistic, Izzy, is that we sometimes say things, such as with idiomatic expressions, that shouldn't be taken literally.

When somebody says, "No big deal," he doesn't means it's a small deal; he means it's not important or not a problem.

When somebody says, "I just need a couple of dollars," he doesn't necessarily mean he needs only $2.00. He might actually need $3.00 or $3.00 and change. In other words, not exactly just $2.00.

When somebody says, "No big difference," it doesn't mean there's a little difference; it means there's no difference.

Jerry's interpretation is interesting, but I'm just focusing here on how we have this idiomatic use of such phrases. Smile
Izzy, it's all in the context, it's all in the context. And eye contact can help, too. It's just like in any language in the world. There are all sorts of clues to meaning you can't always get in writing. Okay?
I don't know why this is going on so long, but you seem to be missing the point, if you don't mind my saying.

You didn't "miss" anything. I'm simply pointing out to you that sometimes things people say or write aren't necessarily to be taken verbatim. This was one of them.

The only other point I was making is that language is not simply words on paper or online. It also involves prosody, i.e., tone, pitch, and stress, among other things. Furthermore, it involves body language and eye contact. There's just so much that can be gleaned by reading what people write, especially in person-to-person direct communication.

I remember when people first started sending e-mails to one another. There were lots and lots of situations in which people misinterpreted what somebody had written to them, which led to unnecessary hurt feelings or anger. Slowly but surely, many people have learned to write e-mails much more cautiously and carefully, and they have reduced the amount of humor in their messages. It seems that humor can get people into more trouble than anything else since the reader must be able to understand without all the visual cues I mentioned that what they're reading is supposed to be something funny, something not taken seriously. Humor in direct communication can be a dangerous thing without those prosodic cues.

Anyway, I think this topic is dragging on too long, Izzy. I hope I've clarified enough now. Smile
It's correct under certain circumstances. If follow is used as a passive verb, by is the preposition used + noun/noun phrase. If follow is an active verb, with is used + noun/noun phrase:

The boxer downed his opponent using two moves. He hit him with a direct punch to the nose(,which was followed* by an upper cut to the chin.

*We can use ellipsis here and say ... a direct punch to the nose followed by an upper cut to the chin.

The pianist gave a beautiful recital. He started by playing a Chopin nocturne and followed with some Shubert.

I asked Professor David Crystal the same question on the difference between followed with v. followed by and got the following answer:

"Most uses of 'follow' disallow 'with':

The overture will be followed by a concerto.

But you can find contexts where an 'accompaniment' sense has motivated the use of 'with', such as these from the internet:

Condemnation must be followed with action
The pain was followed with nausea

The use of 'by' is far more common, though.."

Then I asked him:

So in meaning, there is no difference, right?

He said:

"No. As I said, the 'with' form highlights a notion of accompaniment. In the examples I gave, the action and condemnation are seen as in a close relationship, whereas the overture and concerto are just a sequence."

Doesn't that make sense?
I'd like to know how one of the examples I cited would fall into what Mr. Crystal has said, Izzy:

The pianist gave a beautiful recital. He started by playing a Chopin nocturne and followed with some Shubert.

According to Crystal, with shouldn't work here because he claims it isn't used with sequencing. But here it clearly is, and this sentence works.

I wonder . . . Wink
OK, Richard. Here is his reply to your question.

"I didn't say 'with' isn't used with sequencing. What I said was that 'by' is used in a sequence. 'With' highlights the notion of acocmpaniment. That doesn't exclude it being used in a sequence, as your example illustrates. The implication is that there is a slightly closer connection between Schubert and Chopin than there would be if the sentence had contained 'by'."

Does this answer yours?
Okay, Richard's going to spice things up by getting on his soap box. Here goes!

To use another common idiomatic expression, I think what Crystal said above "is a stretch."

You know something? People can sometimes dig so deep that it gets to be a little too much: "by" is used in a sequence; "with" can be used in a sequence too, but 'there's a slightly closer connection' to whatever.

Puh-leez! I seriously have my doubts that such "digging" helps most people to be better or more effective communicators in the English language, especially if English is their L2 or L3 or L-whatever.

At any rate, I think the explanation I offered for followed by and followed with was ample to help a person learning English deal successfully with those two phrases.
The pianist gave a beautiful recital. He started by playing a Chopin nocturne and followed with some Shubert.

We should repeat this, stated above by Mehrdad and by Richard:

The 'followed' in the Chopin sentence is in the active voice. 'Follow' in this sentence has to be with 'with."

  • The pianist started by playing phrase of manner a Chopin nocturne, and (he) followed (that) with accompaniment some Schubert.

    In this discussion, I don't think that David Crystal was thinking, at this particular moment, of the distinction between active and passive voice that Mehrdad and Richard have noted, and which is basic here.

    Only 'with' will work in the active sentence about Chopin.

    If the sentence is passive, though, either will work:

  • The recital was started by / with a Chopin nocturne and followed by / with some Schubert.
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