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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Oct 24 02:46:06 UTC 2015


> On Oct 23, 2015, at 11:11 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Does that make Colon the eldest statesman?

Apparently it makes him the most super-annuated, as per 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/22/sports/baseball/barrymets-layout.html

This "107-year-late edition" was actually a pretty interesting attempt at, I assume, an early 20th century sports story in its journalistic prose style as well as its typography, perhaps inspired by the Back to the Future day (the Cubs were actually eliminated on the very day Marty McFly and Doc Brown saw the scrolling headline CUBS WIN, Oct. 21, 2015) as well as the fact that 1908 will continue to mark the Cubs' last World Series championship for at least one more year.  Whence the archaic metaphors, colorful word substitutions ("twirler", "second-sacker", "valiant home-town squad", "the grand swatter", the "Bunyan" at first,...) and orthography (notably "base-ball").

LH

> 
> On Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 9:59 AM, 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: "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> Another factor for some speakers: size matters.  And so do parts of =
>> speech.  I'm used to "not that good of an X" for decades, and with other =
>> short, especially monosyllabic, adjectives it doesn't seem that marked, =
>> e.g. "not that strong/great/bad of an X".  But with polysyllabic =
>> adjectives it seems much less natural to me.  This morning, on Mike & =
>> Mike (ESPN radio) the Mets' elder statesman Michael Cuddyer (almost 37 =
>> years old; actually, Bartolo Colon is five years elder a statesman), was =
>> asked about the impressive impact of the youthful pitchers--de Grom, =
>> Syndegaard, Harvey, Matz--who have led the Mets into the World Series, =
>> noted that it was especially gratifying =20
>> 
>> "to be able to do it at that young of an age and that collection of a =
>> group"
>> 
>> For me, "that young of an age" wouldn't raise that big of an eyebrow; =
>> "that collection of a group" doesn't even feature an adjective (making =
>> it a somewhat odd conjunction in the first place), but if we replace it =
>> with "that impressive (of) a group" or "that extraordinary (of) a =
>> performance", the [+of] versions strike me as much more marked than the =
>> one with "young".  By the evidence of Arnold's students, this does make =
>> me a fuddy-duddy, but then again someone who blanches at even =
>> monosyllabic [+of] EDMs is fuddy-duddier.
>> 
>> LH
>> 
>> 
>>> On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:48 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> =
>> wrote:
>>> =20
>>> =20
>>>> On Oct 19, 2015, at 7:06 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> =
>> wrote:
>>>> =20
>>>> ---------------------- 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: "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"
>>>> =
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
>> -----
>>>> =20
>>>> Agreed on the widespread popularity of the + versions for younger =3D
>>>> speakers, and on the citation of the recency effect, but I'm not sure =
>> =3D
>>>> that we really be sure that (quoting Arnold, with contrastive =3D
>>>> *highlighting* added) for the relevant speakers (of any age) who =3D
>>>> accept/produce the +of version in the relevant contexts that
>>>> =20
>>>>> it is now simply *the* standard form.  they understand the older -of =
>> =3D
>>>> EDM, but
>>>>> for them it must come from an odd non-standard dialect, or =
>> it=3DE2=3D80=3D99s
>>>>> terminally old-fashioned, or it=3DE2=3D80=3D99s a typo.
>>>> =20
>>>> Can we be sure, without direct empirical feedback, that such speakers =
>> =3D
>>>> don't accept both + and - versions as standard and natural?
>>> =20
>>> actually, i had a whole class of stanford undergraduates who weighed =
>> in on the question when the subject came up in class, and they all =
>> though the +of versions were just *mistakes* =E2=80=94 failures to =
>> Include All Necessary Words, in fact (they had that concept).  a few of =
>> them said they=E2=80=99d been taught not to use of =E2=80=9Cof=E2=80=9D, =
>> but they dismissed that advice as dumb stuff that schoolteachers try to =
>> impose on kids.
>>> =20
>>> since then, i=E2=80=99ve unsystematically questioned other =
>> undergraduates, and older people.  the youngfolk are unanimous.  but =
>> even a few of the older informants (one in his 50s!) treated  +of EDM as =
>> weird and foreign to them.
>>> =20
>>> i stopped collecting examples of +of EDM years ago; there were just =
>> too many of them.
>>> =20
>>> arnold
>>> =20
>>> =20
>>> =20
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - =
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