2
   

Too big a piece or a too big piece

 
 
paok1970
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jan, 2018 10:08 am
@perennialloner,
Is "Too big piece of cake" another way to say, "Too big a piece of cake"?

Thank you
layman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Jan, 2018 10:37 am
@paok1970,
paok1970 wrote:

Is "Too big piece of cake" another way to say, "Too big a piece of cake"?

Thank you


Ya didn't ask me, but, yeah, it is. It's just not a way that anyone would typically use. Whether it's "a" or "of a" ya need something more in there.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2018 01:27 pm
@paok1970,
Quote:
too big a piece
def collo, Paok
As for the altern, I'da writ 'too-big,' tho 'mit'd'ly compulsive
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2018 01:32 pm
@paok1970,
Quote:
Is "Too big piece of cake" another way to say, "Too big a piece of cake"?
Yes but they're not interchangeable. Frinstance, you wouldn't say, '...a too big a piece of cake'
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2018 01:38 pm
@layman,
Quote:
And we would say too big of a piece (of cake)
Actually we'd say 'too bigga peecea cake'
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2018 01:43 pm
@layman,
Quote:
I would say: "It's too big of a problem,...I would say: "It's too big of a problem,...I would say: "It's too big of a problem,...common"

Buit not, Man, al'vus
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jan, 2018 09:04 pm
@centrox,
Quote:
Yes, Pepys does too, but I think in modern times it is regional and informal.


Yes, it is informal, as is most of speech but it is not regional. M-W describes it as being in use at all levels of US society.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jan, 2018 09:07 pm
@paok1970,
Quote:
I'm a little confused.

Is it "That's too much a risk" or "That's too much of a risk"?


It's both with the latter being, I suggest, the most common in speech.
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jan, 2018 09:31 pm
@camlok,
It's too risky.

"Welcome back", the inmate hollered anyway.

After 180 days of solitary confinement the two oks were together again.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 02:23 am
@camlok,
camlok wrote:
Yes, it is informal, as is most of speech but it is not regional. M-W describes it as being in use at all levels of US society.

That makes it 'regional' in my book, old chap.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 12:48 pm
@centrox,
{hit the wrong button. Post will be up soon.]
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 12:54 pm
@centrox,
This screed is a dandy example of the prescriptive mentality described by the linguist, Steven Pinker in his book, The Language Instinct.

These folks are "Kibbitzers and nudniks", they most assuredly are not language scientists. See the great description of them and their prescriptions/false language rules below in the second quote box.

This describes "off of", which Centrox also seems to have a problem with. It is not different than the original asked by Paok, "of a ...", which is used by US and Canadian newscasters, hosts of TV cook shows, mayors, newspaper columnists, Flannery O'Connor, Henry Adams letter of 1859, ... .

Let's take a quick look at Centrox's totally contradictory advice. Advice that illustrates he doesn't even understand how language works. [my comments are in color, Centrox in black text.]

Quote:
Centrox: No. never say (or write) that! ...

Linguists call the use of an additional 'of' the “big of” syndrome.

Linguists say no such thing. No source, Centrox.

M-W says, " Off of is an innocuous idiom - a compound preposition made of the adverb off and the preposition of -- that has been in use since the 16th century. In use since the 16th century is the very definition of "idiomatic".


Kenneth G. Wilson, wrote in The Columbia Guide to Standard American English in 1993, that although “how hard of a job” is nonstandard English, ... that nonstandard “of a” usages “could achieve idiomatic status before too long, despite the objections of many commentators.”

"commentators" = prescriptivists/kibbitzers and nudniks [as described by S Pinker] who get their panties in a bunch over things that are perfectly natural everyday idiom. As M-W noted, it is "an innocuous idiom ... that has been in use since the 16th century".

Until then, he said, they should be left out of “your Planned and Oratorical speech and your edited English.”


Centrox says, "No. never say (or write) that!" and his own source says it should be left out of “your Planned and Oratorical speech and your edited English”.

But there is no reason to leave it out of your everyday speech because, as all of language science says, it is idiomatic English, has been since the 16 century!


Quote:

The fallacies of language mavens

Grammar Puss

...

The legislators of "correct English," in fact, are an informal network of copy-editors, dictionary usage panelists, style manual writers, English teachers, essayists, and pundits. Their authority, they claim, comes from their dedication to implementing standards that have served the language well in the past, especially in the prose of its finest writers, and that maximize its clarity, logic, consistency, elegance, precision, stability, and expressive range. William Safire, who writes the weekly column "On Language" for the [New York Times Magazine], calls himself a "language maven," from the Yiddish word meaning expert, and this gives us a convenient label for the entire group. To whom I say: Maven, shmaven! [Kibbitzers] and [nudniks] is more like it. For here are the remarkable facts. Most of the prescriptive rules of the language mavens make no sense on any level. They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons several hundred years ago and have perpetuated themselves ever since. For as long as they have existed, speakers have flouted them, spawning identical plaints about the imminent decline of the language century after century. All the best writers in English have been among the flagrant flouters. The rules conform neither to logic nor tradition, and if they were ever followed they would force writers into fuzzy, clumsy, wordy, ambiguous, incomprehensible prose, in which certain thoughts are not expressible at all. Indeed, most of the "ignorant errors" these rules are supposed to correct display an elegant logic and an acute sensitivity to the grammatical texture of the language, to which the mavens are oblivious.

https://tinyplasticrobot.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/grammar-puss-pinker-nonp7.pdf
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 01:35 pm
@camlok,
I daresay this is pointless, if you are the toxic JTT I remember, but it might serve to counterbalance your nonsense:

camlok wrote:
Quote:
Centrox:
Linguists call the use of an additional 'of' the “big of” syndrome.

Linguists say no such thing. No source, Centrox.

American Speech, Vol. 64, No. 1, Spring, 1989, The Big of Syndrome (pp. 94-96), Harold B. Allen

Allen, a noted linguist and professor from the University of Minnesota, was the founder and first president of TESOL in 1966. Among his many achievements, he was an internationally recognized expert on regional dialects of the U.S., and he authored the Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 02:03 pm
@centrox,
A two page article by a linguist does not constitute "linguists say".

And just what does Harold B Allen say?

Why did you ignore all the other pertinent information that illustrates that you are simply advancing another prescription? You are aware by now, are you not, that prescriptions are not rules of the English language?

They were, and still are today, goofy prescriptions that were made up in the 18th century which "make no sense on any level. They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons several hundred years ago and have perpetuated themselves ever since. For as long as they have existed, speakers have flouted them, spawning identical plaints about the imminent decline of the language century after century.

All the best writers in English have been among the flagrant flouters. The rules conform neither to logic nor tradition, and if they were ever followed they would force writers into fuzzy, clumsy, wordy, ambiguous, incomprehensible prose, in which certain thoughts are not expressible at all.

Indeed, most of the "ignorant errors" these rules are supposed to correct display an elegant logic and an acute sensitivity to the grammatical texture of the language, to which the mavens are oblivious."
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 02:54 pm
@centrox,
You wrote, "Linguists call the use of an additional 'of' the “big of” syndrome".

Since you are the one who has researched this area, could you please describe what Harold Allen's article says about this use of 'of'?
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 03:02 pm
https://images2.imgbox.com/cf/ed/LSxzQocK_o.jpg
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 03:10 pm
@centrox,
You hadn't read it, had you, Centrox?
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 04:42 pm
Well, I have now, and I have to say that I feel that the language used in the paper is heavily prescriptivist. I would call the 'big of' usage a (US) regional variation. I think using words like 'syndrome' and 'aberration' crosses a line.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jan, 2018 04:57 pm
@centrox,
Quote:
Well, I have now,

Why did you then make a pretense that you knew what you were talking about wrt that article when you first mentioned it?

There was only one page. You didn't pay the price to get the whole article,
did you?


and I have to say that I feel that the language used in the paper is heavily prescriptivist. I would call the 'big of' usage a (US) regional variation.

Yet no quotes to show that what you are saying has any veracity. It is used in Canada too.

The USA represents a large chunk of the English speaking world. But even if it was solely a US regional variation, that would hardly make it wrong/improper/inappropriate/... .


I think using words like 'syndrome' and 'aberration' crosses a line.


What line? Why are you so guarded in your comments?
0 Replies
 
 

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