[Ads-l] ADJ + of = a + ADJ

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Jul 17 22:10:29 EDT 2018


I checked the audio and the quote is "Can the US be seen as reliable of an ally to the EU?" and the 'as' is stretched out. It sounds to me like a speech error in which she entered the phrase with conjunction 'as' and finished it with degree modifier 'as'.

Question starts at 2.53 https://www.npr.org/2018/07/17/629896490/what-the-past-week-means-for-u-s-e-u-relations


Matt Gordon
________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:48 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: ADJ + of = a + ADJ

> On Jul 17, 2018, at 8:29 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:
>
> The extension seems to be via blending of the two
>
> constructions Jon mentioned:
>
>  "reliable as an ally" + "as reliable of an ally as..."
>
> G. Cohen

It’s close to the constructions Arnold has discussed here and on his blog, except for the lack of a degree modifier.  Many many hits of constructions like

“How reliable of an ally is Donald Trump?”
“Donald Trump isn’t that reliable of an ally.”
“Donald Trump is(n’t) very reliable of an ally.”

Or, for that matter,

> "Does the European Union believe Donald Trump is all that reliable of an ally?"


Much rarer, I believe, without the degree modifier in the example below.  Arnold, do you have any of that kind, without an overt degree modifier?

LH
>
> ________________________________
> Message from: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 7:00 PM
>
> Reporter on _All Things Considered_ (from memory 20 mins. later):
>
> "Does the European Union believe Donald Trump is reliable of an ally?"
>
> (It might mean "reliable *as* an ally," but I suspect it's been extended
> from constructions like "as reliable of an ally as...")
>
> A slip of the tongue? Sure didn't sound like it.
>
> JL
>
>
>
> JL
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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