[Ads-l] "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 19 11:06:34 UTC 2015


I was never taught *not* to use "of" in those cases - presumably because
nobody was foolish enough to use it.

If anyone in NYC was doing so before the mid '70s, I have no recollection
of hearing them.

That includes people on TV, by the way.

It still sounds bizarre to me - and not just from a prescriptivist
position.


JL

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 8:54 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 7:17 PM, Benjamin Torbert <btorbert at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I was taught, in the 1980s, that it was [prescriptively] verboten.
>
>
> The rule is longer-lived than I thought. I learned it in high school,
> 1950-54. Oddly, lots of people around the Web are under the impression that
> the "as good _of_ a" type of a  <har! har!> construction originated as
> recently as last year, among a few of the uneducated. There are people
> arguing both sides of the matter. I even found an instance of a teacher
> asking for advice as to what reason he could give his students for not
> using the _of_.
>
> The only reason that my teachers bothered to give me was that using the
> _of_ would lower my grade. That's a better reason than telling people that
> they don't know the "rules of grammar" of their native language, when the
> question is simply one of stylistics.
>
> Oddly, _as good of a_ can be Googled only back to the '90's, whereas _as
> bad of a_ can be traced back to 1702, but only in one work by a single
> author:
>
> https://books.google.com/books?id=3DwAoUAAAAQAAJ
> Letters from the Dead to the Living, =E2=80=8EThomas Brown - 1702 - P.241
> _Scarron_. Be not Angry, good, [sic] Monsieur l'Abbe ; I do believe as bad,
> of a Priest, as you can desire to have me...
>
>
> On the following page, the same character says:
> _Scarron_. I have since drank [sic] a _swinging draught_ of Lethe's
> forgetful stream.
>
>
> I doubt that an earlier instance of this use of "swinging" can be found,
> even in HDAS! ;-)
>
> --=20
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



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

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