intrusive "of a"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 19 11:59:54 UTC 2011

Are people so used to saying "not that big of a deal" that they've
assimilated "of a" into both "big" and "huge"?  Creating in effect two new
adjs., "bigguva" and "hugeuva"?

If true, SOTA.  (Therefore, probably true.)


On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 11:31 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of a"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sep 18, 2011, at 8:25 PM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> some material deleted in transmission.  fixes:
> >
> > 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 + N" ("how big (of) a dog").
>  three possible contributions:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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