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Extraneous "of" Options
NKM
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 2:12:10 PM

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From an advertisement on TV: "… how much you pay depends on how good of a negotiator you are."

What's that "of" there for?

The spokesperson appears to be a reasonably well-educated native speaker who either has memorized a script or is reading from cue cards. Whether the "of" is written in the script or she is inserting it spontaneously is not clear; in either case it shouldn't be there, but there it is.

This is not an isolated phenomenon. I've heard "… too big of a risk", "… too serious of a problem", "… how important of a consideration" and so on, and I'm led to pose a couple of questions.

(1) Does this insertion result from (unconscious?) analogy with more acceptable idiomatic usages like "too much of a good thing"? I'm not sure of that, but it's hard to think of any other explanation.

(2) Is this an exclusively American aberration, or do people elsewhere in the world do it too?

Romany
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 2:24:44 PM
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NK - well I had truly thought that this had become accepted usage in AE now! Over the last few months I've been analysing the speech we've been hearing coming from senators, lawyers, politicians. And this 'intrusive of' is ubiquitous. I'm not turning back to politics - it's just that this has been the only authentic speech we hear. I heard someone the other day get caught up in a right tangle because of it.

But anyway...because one assumes these people are well educated one just assumes that this reflects what's considered 'correct' in AE. Hence the surprise.

Glad too, to hear it's not acceptable to all AE speakers.
NKM
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 2:41:06 PM

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I guess it is widely accepted, but that doesn't mean it's really acceptable.

But that's not the worst of it. In a recent newscast I heard about a search effort "in the waters off of the coast of Australia."

I changed to a different channel, and heard that the search area was "off the coast… " — with no extra "of " to assault my tender ears.

Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 4:59:29 PM

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NKM wrote:
But that's not the worst of it. In a recent newscast I heard about a search effort "in the waters off of the coast of Australia."

I never could understand this but thought it was acceptable:

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Quote:
Cape Verde Islands - a group of islands in the Atlantic off of the coast of Senegal


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 5:49:26 PM

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I would imagine that the grammar of the British population isn't always pristine, as well.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 5:45:13 AM
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Well of course not. And when we're on a thread about BE we see that proved all the time.

But this is a thread discussing something that is happening to AE - not sure how BE or AusEnglish, or any other English, is pertinent in this particular thread? (What am I missing?).
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 5:21:24 PM

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I suppose it's pertinent only because in my initial post I asked if the particular abuse of "of" was restricted to American speakers.

It would seem that the answer to that question is "Yes".

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 4:54:27 AM
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NK - yes, sorry, the answer IS Yes.

(In fact, our Curator lived in America for some time and sometimes uses that weird intrusive 'of'. Every time he writes for publication someone has to go through the text plucking them out!)
TMe
Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 9:47:54 AM

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I am a layman.
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:52:34 AM
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NOT A TEACHER


Dear Fellow Learners:

I have read most of the posts in this thread and -- like you -- I found this topic fascinating.

If you would like further information, I can recommend a discussion at another grammar helpline.

Since I am computer illiterate and cannot link, you will need to go to Google and type these words and numbers:


What color eyes do you have? 156649
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