Not A Newbie, but Maybe Worth a Mention

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 16 17:52:11 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 11:08 AM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at> wrote:
> Most relevant is Larry's Apr. 2004 thread, "ADJ (of) a -- where's the plural?":
> with this example from sports radio:
> "You can't leave Gordon and Anderson alone--they're too good a shooters."

As Benjamin Barrett pointed out in that thread:

> Try reducing the "of" to "a" in the plural form...
> To me, there is no version without the "of". "He's too good a shooter"
> comes from "good of a" where the "of" is reduced to a schwa and
> phonetically combines with the article. The plural works fine: They're too
> good a (=of) shooters.

Examples from text (and not just transcribed speech) would show the
user's intended word, "of" or "a".

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list