[Ads-l] intrusive "of" intrudes further

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Fri Nov 6 02:50:18 UTC 2015


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],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
On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 7:03 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
------
>
> And here's the CNN clip from TV News Archive:
>
>
> https://archive.org/details/CNNW_20150611_180000_CNN_Newsroom_With_Brooke=
_Baldwin#start/2670/end/2680
>
> On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> >
> > Ah, here we go:
> >
> > http://www.tout.com/u/FeliciaKrieg
> > (2nd video down: "More from press conference" -- relevant bit starts
> > at about 0:35)
> >
> > I hear it as: "I can't tell you how large of the area is that we've
> > searched thus far."
> >
> > So CNN just left out the crucial "of".
> >
> > On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 10:35 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> > >
> > > FWIW, the CNN transcript has:
> > >
> > > http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/11/cnr.06.html
> > > "You know, the situation is still fluid. And at this point, I can't
> > > tell you how large the area is that we've searched thus far."
> > > (Jennifer Fleishman, spokeswoman, New York State Police Department)
> > >
> > > I haven't found video of the news conference, but it should show up
> > > soon on https://archive.org/tv.
> > >
> > >
> > > On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 9:17 AM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net=
>
> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> I don't think I explained clearly what I meant when I wrote, "This i=
s
> the first time
> > >> in my recollection that I've seen it intrude into constructions wher=
e
> the 'how ADJ'
> > >> is predicative rather than attributive."
> > >>
> > >> Usually, I see these constructions in situations like "I don't know
> how big (of) a
> > >> boat we'll need," where the AdjP "how big (of)" modifies "boat" (and
> appears in
> > >> the strange AdjP-Det-N syntax that these constructions have). It's a
> little clearer
> > >> if we leave the WH-phrase in situ:
> > >>
> > >>         I don't know [we need [how big (of) a boat]].
> > >>
> > >> But in JL's example, if we leave the WH-phrase in situ, and undo the
> > >> relative-clause extraposition, we get
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>         I cannot tell you [[the area we're searching in] is [how
> large]].
> > >>
> > >> The AdjP is the complement of "is", not a modifier of "the area we'r=
e
> searching in".
> > >>
> > >> I'm inclined to call this a production error, a blend of the
> following:
> > >>
> > >>         I cannot tell you [how large (of) an area we're searching in=
].
> > >>         I cannot tell you [how large the area is that we're searchin=
g
> in.]
> > >>
> > >> On 6/11/2015 3:11 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>> On Jun 11, 2015, at 2:58 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> > >>>>
> > >>>> This is the first time in my recollection that I've seen it intrud=
e
> =3D
> > >>> into constructions where the "how ADJ" is predicative rather than =
=3D
> > >>> attributive.
> > >>>>
> > >>>>
> > >>> I don't find it particularly odd.  Googling "I/You don't know how
> good =3D
> > >>> of an idea" or "...how big of a relief" or whatever produces scads
> of =3D
> > >>> hits that seem totally natural to me. Ditto, say, this very sequenc=
e
> as =3D
> > >>> it appears in "Beyond that I don't know how large of an area you
> have to =3D
> > >>> scour or what".  Or is there a condition that would rule out the
> example =3D
> > >>> below while allowing the ones above?  Is it the definite ("the
> area")?  =3D
> > >>> Maybe I'm missing something. =3D20
> > >>>
> > >>>> On 6/11/2015 2:47 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> New York State Police spokeswoman:
> > >>>>>
> > >>>>> "I cannot tell you how large of the area is we're searching in."
>
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>



--=20
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