[Ads-l] intrusive "of" intrudes further

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Wed Dec 30 04:33:23 UTC 2015

And now, from my other, 17y.o. son:

     [Incandescent light] is a lot warmer OF a light [than fluorescent].

This sentence also brings in another syntactic peculiarity, i.e. how 
something that means "A light that is A lot warmer" (2 indefinite 
articles) is phrased with just one indefinite article, i.e. not "*an a 
lot warmer (of) a light."


On 12/7/2015 6:07 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> From "What if Will Smith had played Neo in /The Matrix/?", 
> /Entertainment Weekly,/ #1393, Dec. 11, 2015, 6. 41:
> In a recent interview with /Wired,/ Smith admitted he would have 
> "totally messed up /The Matrix/" had he accepted, saying, "I wasn't 
> SMART ENOUGH OF AN ACTOR to let the movie be, whereas Keanu was." 
> (emphasis added)
> On the one hand, this is an "of" where we haven't seen it before: it's 
> not with "too," "how," "as/so," or "this/that" (or even "very," 
> looking at my earlier example). You'd just expect prenominal "a smart 
> enough actor". On the other hand, we do have the standard "enough OF a 
> [NOUN] to [VERB]," which is so very close to what Will Smith said. 
> Maybe we have a production error, blending "enough of an actor" with 
> "a smart enough actor".
> Neal
> On 11/5/2015 10:58 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
>> And this morning, from my 15yo son:
>> "It just wasn't very good of an apple."
>> Neal
>> On Nov 5, 2015, at 9:50 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header 
>>> -----------------------
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>>> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further
>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The "of" in "various of scientists" seems explainable as a blend: 
>>> "various =
>>> scientists" + "a number of scientists" (and perhaps "a lot of 
>>> scientists").
>>> Gerald Cohen
>>> ________________________________________
>>> Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM 
>>> <mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>],Thursday, November 05, 2015 6:18 =
>>> PM, wrote:
>>> How about this, attributed to a presidential candidate whose name 
>>> you would
>>> recognize in a twinkling?
>>> "And various of scientists have said, 'well, you know there were alien
>>> beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's 
>>> how.' You
>>> know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you."
>>> (I mean, how about the "of"?)
>>> JL

Dr. Neal Whitman
Lecturer, ESL Composition
School of Teaching and Learning
College of Education and Human Ecology
Arps Hall
1945 North High Street
whitman.11 at osu.edu
(614) 260-1622

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

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