Embarrassingly Enough, ...

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri May 4 04:59:08 UTC 2007

>I should have mentioned that I find "he's embarrassed of who he is" and
>"she's embarrassed of her mother" to be the correct way to put these
>expressions and that "about" sounds ungrammatical.

It seems to me that the most conventional or 'standard' expression is
"embarrassed by".

I guess I find "embarrassed about" OK. Similarly "embarrassed in connection
with", "embarrassed as a result of", etc., when appropriate.

As for 'correctness', I guess one can utter whatever one pleases: if I mean
to type "embarrassed of" and I type "embarrassed of", it's correct; if it
comes out "embarrassed fo", it's incorrect and I will correct it.

I would not recommend routine use of "embarrassed of" to my children or
students because I do not feel it is 'standard'. I think it may be modeled
on "ashamed of".

I do find this "embarrassed of" repeatedly in presumably edited text
(Google Books) ... especially recently (I think).

OTOH Google Books turns up a recent book (for teachers) which uses this
example: the (young) student writes "embarrassed of her braces"; the
question posed in the book is how (not whether) the teacher should correct
this. (The book recommends crossing out "of" and writing "by".)

I don't find anything relevant in my few usage books.

-- Doug Wilson

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