another lost preposition

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Feb 14 18:18:25 UTC 2008

On Feb 11, 2008, at 10:40 AM, Charlie Doyle wrote:

> It wasn't exactly a locus classicus, but in _American Speech_ 52(for
> 1977):28 I had a notula inspired by such imperative advertising
> slogans as "Shop Macy's" and "Fly the friendly skies of United,"
> which sounded odd to me at the time. I titled it "Optional
> Prepositions"--not a very good title, since the presence or absence
> of a preposition isn't necessarily optional for given speakers or
> dialects. I made no effort to ascertain whether, historically,
> prepositions have been added or deleted in individual expressions. I
> attempted no analysis.  Here were my examples:
> think (about) snow. (bumper sticker)...

quite a mixed bag, as you realize.  i'm beginning to think that each
case has its own history, syntactic details, and semantic details.

in the last two days i've picked up "flee (from) PLACE" and "let go
(of) SOMETHING".  posting to come, but i'm now absorbed in stanford


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