[Ads-l] intrusive "of" intrudes further

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 11 19:37:24 UTC 2015


OK, that makes more sense to me.  I did turn up a few examples of "don't know how X of the Y" but they were much rarer and more awkward sounding.

Hopefully, this informative article will enable you to know how large of the impact this disorder causes and what you can do to assist.
I don't know how large of the magnets I need
I don't know how large of the group shot you do
Then, I would know how good of the deal this is.
Through that, we will partly know how big of the market and also the competitor 
To know how big of the ac you want, search for a calculator online.
Now that I know how big of the difference there is, I am not even sure I would ever want to listen to iPod at home

These would all sound much more natural to me with "a(n)" than "the" (and changing the plural to singular when necessary). To anticipate Jerry Cohen, the last example might be seen as a blend of "how big of a difference there is" and "how big the difference is".

LH



> On Jun 11, 2015, at 3:22 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Yes, it's the definite "the" that struck me.
> 
> A mere slip of the tongue?
> 
> That's what they said the first time King Alfred dropped a case-ending.
> 
> JL
> 
> On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 3:11 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>>> On Jun 11, 2015, at 2:58 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET> =
>> wrote:
>>> =20
>>> This is the first time in my recollection that I've seen it intrude =
>> into constructions where the "how ADJ" is predicative rather than =
>> attributive.
>>> =20
>>> Neal
>> 
>> I don't find it particularly odd.  Googling "I/You don't know how good =
>> of an idea" or "...how big of a relief" or whatever produces scads of =
>> hits that seem totally natural to me. Ditto, say, this very sequence as =
>> it appears in "Beyond that I don't know how large of an area you have to =
>> scour or what".  Or is there a condition that would rule out the example =
>> below while allowing the ones above?  Is it the definite ("the area")?  =
>> Maybe I'm missing something. =20
>> 
>> LH
>>> =20
>>> On 6/11/2015 2:47 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header =
>> -----------------------
>>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>>>> Subject:      intrusive "of" intrudes further
>>>> =
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
>> -----
>>>> =20
>>>> New York State Police spokeswoman:
>>>> =20
>>>> "I cannot tell you how large of the area is we're searching in."
>>>> =20
>>>> JL
>>>> =20
>>> =20
>>> --=20
>>> 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
>>> =20
>>> =20
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - =
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
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