Intrusive "of"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Nov 10 15:49:11 UTC 2008

On Nov 9, 2008, at 10:31 AM, Alison Murie wrote:

> If ADS-L hadn't taught me to suppress my winces at a lot of
> "substandard" speech, I think I'd be  wincing more often lately at the
> intrusion of "of" into ADJ-NOUN expressions ("big of a thing,"  "dark
> of a blue" &c.)...

follow-up to my previous response: we had extensive discussions here
of ordinary degree marking ("how big a house") vs. exceptional degree
marking ("how big of a house") on 9-10 june 2007 (thread:  so big a
house) and 20-22 january 2008 (thread: the spread of adjective-
licensed "of").

note that it's not really the adjective that licenses the "of", it's a
degree modifier of the adjective (HOW, THAT, TOO, etc.).


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