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Old 01-12-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default "Of" abuse

William Safire has a good column in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine: On the Migrating of Of.”

His column — a rant, really — talks about some odd uses of “of” in popular (mostly oral) usage.

He touches on the substitution of ”of” for ”have” — a fairly gross abuse, attempting to give a tiny preposition the power of a verb. But the article mainly covers “… the use of of, as in ‘New York is too big of a town for me.’ ”

Safire reassures himself that this is mainly a problem in casual speech, but we see this aberrant usage online with some regularity — and while the web is not print, it isn’t merely oral either.

   
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
Safire reassures himself that this is mainly a problem in casual speech, but we see this aberrant usage online with some regularity — and while the web is not print, it isn’t merely oral either.
Agreed. I guess it's casual print. LOL. Improper use of 'of' drives me half crazy. The other half is improper use of apostrophes.... As long as you don't get me started on the other things that drive me crazy. Then I will add up to more than 100% crazy.

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:36 AM   #3
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He touches on the substitution of ”of” for ”have” — a fairly gross abuse, attempting to give a tiny preposition the power of a verb.
That's been very common here for as long as I can remember. It seems to be used by people who use the language orally for the most part.

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But the article mainly covers “… the use of of, as in ‘New York is too big of a town for me.’ ”
I really hope I'm right in saying this is a purely US usage, because it grates badly!

And of course, the people he is writing for probably won't use that form anyway.

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:40 AM   #4
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"Get up off of that thing; and dance till you feel better."
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
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Default Apostrophe Protection Society

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Agreed. I guess it's casual print. LOL. Improper use of 'of' drives me half crazy. The other half is improper use of apostrophes.... As long as you don't get me started on the other things that drive me crazy. Then I will add up to more than 100% crazy.
We have mentioned it before, but maybe we should mention it again.

Apostrophe Protection Society
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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It's just (language) evolution in action. Living languages change and the processes by which that happens is far more interesting than irritations of people who wish it would remain the same.

Who, now, is irritated by the double plural form of "children"? (We have the same double plural in Dutch, btw.)

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:59 AM   #7
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"Get up off of that thing; and dance till you feel better."
Yeah, we do have that...

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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Dave:
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maybe we should mention it again
It would be more to the point to campaign for the abolition of the possessive apostrophe.

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:11 PM   #9
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Marjolein:

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Who, now, is irritated by the double plural form of "children"?
Was there ever a 'single' form in English? I presume you are supposing that it was 'childer'.

   
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:45 PM   #10
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It's just (language) evolution in action.
I think trying to convert a preposition into a verb goes beyond language evolution. It is more of a mutation, and semantically incorrect to boot.

   
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