[Ads-l] These/those ADJ of N_pl (Was Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further)

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Tue Jan 26 04:10:55 UTC 2016

To add to the mix, here are some COCA examples of (in Zwickyan 

+of E(xceptional) D(egree) M(arking) with demonstrative determiner, with 
plural noun, without number agreement.

Maybe the standard one doesn't have *_that_* *_big_* *_of_* *_pecs_*.

You know, the news of the settlement didn't really make *_that_* *_big_* 
*_of_* *_headlines_* in the state, but it showed two things.

Whenever Dignan came to visit me he would act like he and Swifty weren't 
*_that_* *_good_* *_of_* *_friends_*, but that was just to make me feel 

And we really before her didn't have *_that_* *_good_* *_of_* *_doctors_*.

These examples aren't that remarkable (these aren't that remarkable of 
examples?) given what we've seen here before. The most relevant of 
Arnold's collection of posts is this one 
(http://arnoldzwicky.org/2012/04/12/innovative-edm/), where he discusses 
Jon Lighter's find "not that good a looking men". But I looked for them 
to find out how their numbers compared with similar examples with 
"these/those". Do they even exist? As it turns out, yes:

+of EDM with demonstrative determiner, with plural noun, WITH number 

*_These_* *_deep_* *_of_* *_lines_* in my cheeks ain't all due to hard 
wind and burnin' sun.

And then we would go right over Afghanistan after that and the Taliban 
and stuff didn't -- wasn't known to have these -- *_those_* 
*_sophisticated_* *_of_* *_missiles_*.

I found all of these examples by searching for "this|that|these|those 
[jj*] of [n_pl]", and these were all the examples I found.  I love the 
stumble as the speaker tries to figure out which demonstrative form to 
use in the last one.


On 12/29/2015 11:33 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> And now, from my other, 17y.o. son:
>       [Incandescent light] is a lot warmer OF a light [than fluorescent].
> This sentence also brings in another syntactic peculiarity, i.e. how
> something that means "A light that is A lot warmer" (2 indefinite
> articles) is phrased with just one indefinite article, i.e. not "*an a
> lot warmer (of) a light."
> Neal
> On 12/7/2015 6:07 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
>>  From "What if Will Smith had played Neo in /The Matrix/?",
>> /Entertainment Weekly,/ #1393, Dec. 11, 2015, 6. 41:
>> In a recent interview with /Wired,/ Smith admitted he would have
>> "totally messed up /The Matrix/" had he accepted, saying, "I wasn't
>> SMART ENOUGH OF AN ACTOR to let the movie be, whereas Keanu was."
>> (emphasis added)
>> On the one hand, this is an "of" where we haven't seen it before: it's
>> not with "too," "how," "as/so," or "this/that" (or even "very,"
>> looking at my earlier example). You'd just expect prenominal "a smart
>> enough actor". On the other hand, we do have the standard "enough OF a
>> [NOUN] to [VERB]," which is so very close to what Will Smith said.
>> Maybe we have a production error, blending "enough of an actor" with
>> "a smart enough actor".
>> Neal
>> On 11/5/2015 10:58 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:
>>> And this morning, from my 15yo son:
>>> "It just wasn't very good of an apple."
>>> Neal
>>> On Nov 5, 2015, at 9:50 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:
>>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>> -----------------------
>>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>>>> Subject:      Re: intrusive "of" intrudes further
>>>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> The "of" in "various of scientists" seems explainable as a blend:
>>>> "various =
>>>> scientists" + "a number of scientists" (and perhaps "a lot of
>>>> scientists").
>>>> Gerald Cohen
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
>>>> <mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>],Thursday, November 05, 2015 6:18 =
>>>> PM, wrote:
>>>> How about this, attributed to a presidential candidate whose name
>>>> you would
>>>> recognize in a twinkling?
>>>> "And various of scientists have said, 'well, you know there were alien
>>>> beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that's
>>>> how.' You
>>>> know, it doesn't require an alien being when God is with you."
>>>> (I mean, how about the "of"?)
>>>> JL

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