Embarrassingly Enough, ...

James C Stalker stalker at MSU.EDU
Fri May 4 04:58:24 UTC 2007

"Of" is becoming the default preposition.  I've been watching it for years,
creeping in and devouring other prepositions.

Some examples from students (Michigan State Univeristy, lingusitics

I define teasing as "joking with or poking fun of" another person.
Oct, 1997

The people of the stores did have poster board but did not understand what I
was asking for and sent me to a different store.
Mar, 98

In Cleary and Linn's book, Linguistics for Teachers, give three reasons of
why the spelling of English does not adhere to the alphabetic principle.
Mar, 98

I believe these ideas expressed of how to improve the language are needed
because usage is already deteriorating at a fast pace.

She was very self-conscious of her reading.

Doug Harris writes:

> I find this usage odd as well as unusual:
> A sign seen this evening near Scranton PA, advertising
> a company that does something to/for bathrooms:
> "[Are You] Embarrassed of Your Bathroom?"
> --
> Of?
> 'Coulda been poetic license, I guess, though I think
> they could have fit three more letters on the sign so
> as to suggest embarrassment ~about~ one's bathroom.
> (the other) doug
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

James C. Stalker
Department of English
Michigan State University

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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