"comparing me of"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jul 21 19:39:01 UTC 2009

Nancy Friedman sends along an oddity from "Sheriff Joe," William
Finnegan's profile of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (New Yorker,
7/20/09). In the lead paragraph, Arpaio is quoted as saying:
"Alabama--isn't that where Bull Connor was, that they're always
comparing me of?"

Is "compare of" a dialectal variant of "compare to/with"? (Arpaio is
originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, FWIW.) Or could it be an
idiolectal quirk, or a production error?

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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