intrusive "of a"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Sep 19 03:25:26 UTC 2011

On Sep 18, 2011, at 3:09 PM, Jon Lighter wrote:

> OK, we all know about the intrusive "of a" in "It isn't that big of a deal."
> But in an ad for Kathy Griffin's forthcoming TV special, she seems to say
> clearly, "I just heard a huge of a rumor!"
> Of course, maybe it's just a weird "huge," n., and not a super-weird
> intrusive "of a."

almost surely an intrusive "of a" (i.e. +of EDM [Exceptional Degree Modification marked by "of"] -- normally involving a trigger like "as", "how", etc., plus a modifying Adj preceding "a +

  +of EDM with "not" as a trigger: “not a huge/big of a N” (esp. “not a big of a deal”, for which there are huge numbers);

  reinterpretation of “as” as “a” in +of EDM;

  reinterpretation of totally standard “a bit of a N” as “a big of a N”.

some data, from a great many:

-- simple examples with "huge", like Jon's original example:

{"a huge of a"}

  There are load of free software that are not open source. And in the OpenBSD world, that makes a huge of a difference.

  ... even if they are noobs its impossible for me to beat a lvl 60 :P plus most of them are small spenders which makes a huge of a difference...

  His horses were as big as his extra long sword, a huge of a blade forged in Solingen of Damascus steel.

  On any search engine Clenbuterol gets about 1 million results, while other similar products only get 
somewhere near 15,000 – just to have an idea – it's a huge of a difference.

-- "a" for "as"?? [there are many examples that are unclear between the previous case and this one.  some in this set might be typos for "as", but the numbers seem way too big for all of them to be.]

  Loved this podcast. I don't entirely agree with you on the whole DC reboot. While I doubt it'll be a huge of a success as they're thinking, I believe the "fanboys" will still lap up the collectable #1 issues and get on the new series.

  I don't think this makes a huge of a dent on battery as people think.

  I'm a HUGE fan... well, a huge of a fan I can be with a small part-time job)

  First of all, stacking. It had never been a huge of a problem as this guy's"

-- {"a big of a" -not} -  reinterpretation of "a bit of a" ?? [huge number]

  *Starsglittermagic* has had a big of a change!

  The Pistons caught a big of a break against the Celtics, as Boston lost Kevin Garnett in the first quarter with a leg injury

  Going home to watch it there
/ It gave my family a big of a scare/ I couldn't believe my eyes


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