"off of"

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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

llamapalooza wrote:Slightly off-topic: When you people keep posting "go in the house," it makes me think of "the dog goes in the house," indicating a little mess to be cleaned up. "The dog goes into the house" means he's entering, not defecating.

"Off of" sounds completely natural to me, and "off" sounds slightly wrong or informal, actually. In normal speech, I'll usually shorten to, for instance, "stop dancing and get offa' the roof." I can't imagine myself saying "get off the bench." And, hey, it eliminates any ambiguity in the spoken "I helped my Uncle, Jack, off the horse."


You have a very strange Uncle... :|

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Re: "off of"

Postby llamapalooza » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:01 am UTC

No, no, you see, had I said it like I naturally would, "I help my Uncle Jack off of a horse," then the meaning comes across that he's not "into that kind of thing;" he was just stuck on top of his equestrian mode of transportation.

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:54 pm UTC

Of course, there's not really spoken ambiguity in the other version of that sentence, either, because your intonation will be different depending on whether Uncle Jack is one name, or whether jack off is a single verb. (For one thing, "off" gets more stress if the speaker interprets it as part of the verb, since prepositions are usually pretty destressed unless they're being said emphatically. But even then you wouldn't mix up "...Jack off a horse" (e.g. instead of helping him onto it) with "...jack off a horse."
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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Of course, there's not really spoken ambiguity in the other version of that sentence, either, because your intonation will be different depending on whether Uncle Jack is one name, or whether jack off is a single verb. (For one thing, "off" gets more stress if the speaker interprets it as part of the verb, since prepositions are usually pretty destressed unless they're being said emphatically. But even then you wouldn't mix up "...Jack off a horse" (e.g. instead of helping him onto it) with "...jack off a horse."


But wouldn't the Jack/jack have the most stress no matter which meaning was meant to be interpreted?

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Re: "off of"

Postby Game_boy » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:52 am UTC

I use "off of" and similar constructions. It looks wrong to me to miss out "of", and I usually consider writing which does to be informal. I live in the UK.
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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

n7a7v7i wrote:But wouldn't the Jack/jack have the most stress no matter which meaning was meant to be interpreted?

Irrelevant, because the more important information is contained in how "off" is stressed relative to the rest of the sentence.
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Re: "off of"

Postby Apeiron » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:59 pm UTC

Get off of the horse.
Get off the horse.

The "of" is redundant and carries no meaning. It's a tick... a bad habit that people keep doing without thinking. The prevalence and duration of the mistake are irrelevant. Wrong is still wrong 1000 years later and if it achieves 100% saturation. If it carried some meaning, i'd be OK with it.

If you add an "of" in casual speech... i'll just make fun of you for it. If you are giving a speech or writing i'll be less kind. Just think before you speak/type and you'll make fewer mistakes like this.

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Re: "off of"

Postby goofy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:The "of" is redundant and carries no meaning. It's a tick... a bad habit that people keep doing without thinking. The prevalence and duration of the mistake are irrelevant. Wrong is still wrong 1000 years later and if it achieves 100% saturation. If it carried some meaning, i'd be OK with it.


The "nothing is relevant" theory of grammar.

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:Wrong is still wrong 1000 years later and if it achieves 100% saturation.

By that logic, everything you have ever said to anyone anywhere was wrong, because you're not speaking Anglo-Saxon. Which was itself entirely wrong because it wasn't whatever language it came from 1000 years earlier, and so on.

Everything anyone has ever said to anyone else that wasn't in the very first language ever used by humans is wrong.

Interesting and useful theory you've got there. Remind me never to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Apeiron wrote:Wrong is still wrong 1000 years later and if it achieves 100% saturation.

By that logic, everything you have ever said to anyone anywhere was wrong, because you're not speaking Anglo-Saxon. Which was itself entirely wrong because it wasn't whatever language it came from 1000 years earlier, and so on.

Everything anyone has ever said to anyone else that wasn't in the very first language ever used by humans is wrong.

Interesting and useful theory you've got there. Remind me never to subscribe to your newsletter.


I just don't understand it.

You insist that all these lingo-Nazis are wrong in their determination to tell us that some English is right and some is just plain wrong, yet you insist that there are rules.
I understand that you obviously don't mean rules in the sense that these guys mean it...

But then what's the bloody point of calling them grammatical rules at all, distinct from patterns and generalizations?

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

Have you read anything I've written? They are rules because our brains process them as rules.

You're falling into a stupid false dichotomy of thinking that the only viable alternative to nothing-goes is anything-goes.
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Re: "off of"

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:50 am UTC

thatblackguy wrote:It's a bad phrase and people using it are bad people.

Isn't the second "people" redundant? Wouldn't that make you a (dramatic pause) bad person?
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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:02 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Have you read anything I've written? They are rules because our brains process them as rules.

You're falling into a stupid false dichotomy of thinking that the only viable alternative to nothing-goes is anything-goes.


Linguistic anarchy = fail?

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:49 am UTC

Depends on what you mean by anarchy. If you mean it in the sense that there are no rules coming down from above, then no, it's not fail. It's how languages work.

However, if you mean in the sense that there are no descriptive rules whatsoever delineating how English works compared to how, for example, Swahili works, then yes, you fail to comprehend how language works.
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Re: "off of"

Postby Sizik » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

Quincunx wrote:"off of" sounds silly unless you pronounce it right. i.e., 'awf ov'. In the same way one says 'there is not enough room in the room' with the first oo pronounced as in 'good', and the second as in 'doom'.


I'd pronounce them both as in "doom".
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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:44 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Depends on what you mean by anarchy. If you mean it in the sense that there are no rules coming down from above, then no, it's not fail. It's how languages work.

However, if you mean in the sense that there are no descriptive rules whatsoever delineating how English works compared to how, for example, Swahili works, then yes, you fail to comprehend how language works.


My only real issue with agreeing to the statement "there are descriptive rules defining English as separate from Swahili" is that it fails to address the true nature of language. It's not rules, it's patterns. And occasionally, these patterns get quite fuzzy, to the point where we simply cannot categorize a sentence as being either English or Swahili. If there were really rules, this wouldn't happen.
Calling the line between different languages "sets of descriptive rules" is worse than calling the bodies on the sides of the streets "collateral damage".

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:11 am UTC

n7a7v7i wrote:And occasionally, these patterns get quite fuzzy, to the point where we simply cannot categorize a sentence as being either English or Swahili. If there were really rules, this wouldn't happen.

1) There are random collections of sounds which are neither English nor Swahili, this is true. I don't get your point, since this could be true even if English and Swahili were completely rigid and clearly, precisely bounded collections of utterances. Just like there are even numbers and odd numbers, and that fact doesn't change because there are also fractions between them.
2) For the last goddamn time, the presence of fuzziness does not negate the presence of rules. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can actually have a logically consistent discussion about anything. A tomato might be a fruit or a vegetable, but that doesn't stop apples from clearly being a fruit, and celery from clearly being a vegetable.
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Re: "off of"

Postby n7a7v7i » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
n7a7v7i wrote:And occasionally, these patterns get quite fuzzy, to the point where we simply cannot categorize a sentence as being either English or Swahili. If there were really rules, this wouldn't happen.

1) There are random collections of sounds which are neither English nor Swahili, this is true. I don't get your point, since this could be true even if English and Swahili were completely rigid and clearly, precisely bounded collections of utterances. Just like there are even numbers and odd numbers, and that fact doesn't change because there are also fractions between them.
2) For the last goddamn time, the presence of fuzziness does not negate the presence of rules. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can actually have a logically consistent discussion about anything. A tomato might be a fruit or a vegetable, but that doesn't stop apples from clearly being a fruit, and celery from clearly being a vegetable.


gmailivuk says GRAWR, there iz rules, silly n00ß.

I sez neigh, if there be to-ma-toze that be not veggies nor fruits, then there be no "rules", only patterns.

gmailivuk say GRR, yoo so stupid. A rule is not absolute, joo foo!

'n den I say, den wai kall it a rule?

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Re: "off of"

Postby Bobber » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

n7a7v7i wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
n7a7v7i wrote:And occasionally, these patterns get quite fuzzy, to the point where we simply cannot categorize a sentence as being either English or Swahili. If there were really rules, this wouldn't happen.

1) There are random collections of sounds which are neither English nor Swahili, this is true. I don't get your point, since this could be true even if English and Swahili were completely rigid and clearly, precisely bounded collections of utterances. Just like there are even numbers and odd numbers, and that fact doesn't change because there are also fractions between them.
2) For the last goddamn time, the presence of fuzziness does not negate the presence of rules. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can actually have a logically consistent discussion about anything. A tomato might be a fruit or a vegetable, but that doesn't stop apples from clearly being a fruit, and celery from clearly being a vegetable.


gmailivuk says GRAWR, there iz rules, silly n00ß.

I sez neigh, if there be to-ma-toze that be not veggies nor fruits, then there be no "rules", only patterns.

gmailivuk say GRR, yoo so stupid. A rule is not absolute, joo foo!

'n den I say, den wai kall it a rule?
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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

n7a7v7i wrote:'n den I say, den wai kall it a rule?

Because in language, grammar is made up of principles governing action (the regular inflections on existing words or newly invented words), and not mere coincidental patterns. We need some way to distinguish between widespread characteristics that happen to be shared by a finite number of existing words, and characteristics that by their nature are the ones we apply to unfamiliar or novel words. This is the pattern/rule distinction. Rules are principles which govern actions. The fact that some are more absolute than others is irrelevant. The fact that they change over time is irrelevant. The fact that there are times when the rule doesn't apply quite so neatly as others because it's a liminal case is irrelevant.

Some rules eventually become patterns when they are no longer productive (such as the weak/strong distinction that can still be seen in fossil form in English irregular verbs, but which is no longer used to conjugate new verbs), and some patterns eventually become rules when we begin applying them to novel cases (sorry, I don't know specific examples of this in the history of English, but it has surely happened since today we have regular rules which were not always in place).

If you *still* insist on denying this distinction, then as Bobber says, you're using "rule" differently from everyone else, which means the burden is on you to comply with convention if you wish to actually have other people have any idea what you're talking about. If you refuse to do so, then please stop coming in here and expecting anyone to take you seriously.
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Re: "off of"

Postby yeyui » Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

According to http://www.alphadictionary.com/blog/?p=294 the use of "off of" is dying, not growing, as off becomes more, um, prepositional and less adverbial. Among other roles, the words "off" and "out" used to function as adverbs and still do for many of us Americans. As adverbs, they require a preposition.

So for your consideration:

She ran quickly. [Fine - quickly is an adverb.]
She ran quickly the road. [Wrong - quickly is an adverb! Where is the preposition?!?!?]
She ran quickly down the road. [That's better! The preposition made it all better.]

She ran down. [Incomplete - could be fine in context, but the prepositional phrase is missing an object.]
She ran down the road. [Fine - down is a preposition.]
She ran down on the road. [Wait, now you've got two prepositions and only one object. There had better be some context to supply the missing object!]

She ran off. [Fine - if off is an adverb.]
She ran off the road. [Fine - if off is a preposition, but if off feels adverbial to you, then you feel like "Ack! Where is the preposition?!?! I need a preposition!"]
She ran off of the road. [Fine - if off is an adverb, but if off feels prepositional to you you ask "Now why is that idiot using two prepositions where one would do just fine?"]

It's not just "of" that works. If off is being adverbial, it can play with most any preposition.

She ran off on the road.
She ran off along the road.
She ran off with the road [Ok, so this doesn't make sense, but only because its hard to move a road. Just picture a six-year-old girl with a piece of road from a toy set.]
She ran off to the road.
She ran off down the road.

Conclusion: The debate should not be whether or not to use the "extra" preposition of with off, but whether to use off as an adverb or an adjective.


Also, if you doubt that "off of" is ever different from "off", consider these sentences (if you'll excuse a common synecdoche) and which you would rather do.
I just pissed off the White House
I just pissed off of the White House

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

yeyui wrote:Also, if you doubt that "off of" is ever different from "off", consider these sentences (if you'll excuse a common synecdoche) and which you would rather do.
I just pissed off the White House
I just pissed off of the White House

Well sure, but that's because in that case "piss off" is a phrasal verb.
I can say I just peed off the White House and it pretty much does mean the same as I just peed off of the White House.
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Re: "off of"

Postby megi » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:11 pm UTC

I first heard it sung (or crooned), "Can't take my eyes off of you"; never before that.
The "of" is certainly redundant.
Yet it may be insufficient to substitute "from" for "off" (in this instance, "away from" may be better).
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Re: "off of"

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:28 pm UTC

I first heard it sung (or crooned), "Can't take my eyes off of you"
I guess that may have been my first exposure to this expression, too.

I find "off of" interesting because it's an example of American English using more words to say something than British / Commonwealth English does. Usually, the Brit expression has more words, and the American equivalent drops a preposition. The classic example being [British] "I wrote to my mother" vs [US] "I wrote my mother". To my ears, "I wrote my mother" sounds as odd as "I spoke my mother", and some part of my brain wants to add quotes to make the sentence "correct": "I wrote "my mother"".

It's also curious that some posters perceive "off of" as a more formal construction than "off". But the consensus seems to be that "off of" is an informal construction. I first asked about it here (in an earlier thread) when I stumbled across it whilst re-reading "Godel, Escher, Bach", and was slightly surprised to see Hofstadter using it, as I'd always assumed it to be informal vernacular, not something one expects to encounter in a more formal context.

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Re: "off of"

Postby megi » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:56 pm UTC

The classic example being [British] "I wrote to my mother" vs [US] "I wrote my mother".


Yes, it does seem a classic today.. but even as recently as 1945 - ca.1975 we couldn't truly assert that the latter was US-only. Indeed it is only our use of the inverted commas around 'my mother' that reduces the apparent ambiguity. We could have said even - but don't today - that the "to" was redundant [because of the reduced ambiguity].

"Classic" is a good word to use, today.. 'cause people often omit the quotation marks, don't they. (I realise my saying so has made "today" ambiguous, of course. Soz, i'm normally more consistent :-) .)

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Re: "off of"

Postby goofy » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:12 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:I find "off of" interesting because it's an example of American English using more words to say something than British / Commonwealth English does.


But "off of" is not a purely American expression. It's found in Middle English and Shakespeare.

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:10 pm UTC

Which means that, like a huge number of other so-called Americanisms, it's another one we imported from Britain in the first place.
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Re: "off of"

Postby Schoenere Tage » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

I don't really have a problem with either "off of" or "off," really. I usually say "off of," actually, because that's the way I heard it growing up and that's how it sticks. (And, in part, because I mumble. A lot. :? )

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Re: "off of"

Postby yeyui » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

Apparently the length of my previous post caused people to miss the point at the very beginning. The use of "off of" is the older form which is becoming obsolete and replaced by "off". If this theory is true, then "off of" is not a "American bastardization of English language" but a quaint holdover from older usage. You know, kinda like how the Brits (and Bostonians) shifted all their vowels while we Americans left them (mostly) alone.

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Re: "off of"

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

Sorry about the delay replying.

goofy wrote:
PM 2Ring wrote:I find "off of" interesting because it's an example of American English using more words to say something than British / Commonwealth English does.


But "off of" is not a purely American expression. It's found in Middle English and Shakespeare.


I didn't say "We're right & you're wrong". I was just intrigued that this is one of the rare cases where the US version is longer than the British equivalent. I enjoy the diversity in the different English dialects. I don't think it's useful to say "The British version is the correct one, by virtue of history, and Americans are bastardizing the language". OTOH, I don't appreciate it when speakers of US English claim that their version is somehow the "official" version of English, purely through numerical superiority.

Variations in language which have little impact on the ability to understand don't perturb me. Changes that increase ambiguity & decrease clarity do disturb me. Of course, there are times when ambiguity or obfuscation is useful, but it's nice to have a choice in the matter. :)

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Re: "off of"

Postby Flagpole Sitta » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:30 am UTC

llamapalooza wrote:"Off of" sounds completely natural to me, and "off" sounds slightly wrong or informal, actually. In normal speech, I'll usually shorten to, for instance, "stop dancing and get offa' the roof." I can't imagine myself saying "get off the bench." And, hey, it eliminates any ambiguity in the spoken "I helped my Uncle, Jack, off the horse."


When I first read this I thought that the ambiguity was "I helped my Uncle, Jack, kill the horse." and it wasn't until I read down thread a bit that I realized the intended ambiguity was "I helped my Uncle Jack sexually pleasure the horse." Which gives more credence to "off" being functionally different then "off of," if for no other reason then to help differentiate between the many different definitions of off.

"I helped Jerry get off my sister."

"I helped Jerry get off of my sister."

See? The first sentence has ambiguous meaning, the second sentence does not!

As an American English speaker, "off of" sounds much better to me, when used in a prepositional phrase.
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Re: "off of"

Postby Pleochism » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:18 am UTC

"off of" is relatively common in South African English, which is probably due to it being transliterated from the Afrikaans "af van".

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Re: "off of"

Postby goofy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:Sorry about the delay replying.

goofy wrote:
PM 2Ring wrote:I find "off of" interesting because it's an example of American English using more words to say something than British / Commonwealth English does.


But "off of" is not a purely American expression. It's found in Middle English and Shakespeare.


I didn't say "We're right & you're wrong". I was just intrigued that this is one of the rare cases where the US version is longer than the British equivalent. I enjoy the diversity in the different English dialects. I don't think it's useful to say "The British version is the correct one, by virtue of history, and Americans are bastardizing the language". OTOH, I don't appreciate it when speakers of US English claim that their version is somehow the "official" version of English, purely through numerical superiority.


You seem to be saying that this expression is not found in British English, and my point is that it is. That's all.

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Re: "off of"

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

You seem to be saying that this expression is not found in British English, and my point is that it is. That's all.
No worries. I appreciate your historical references. My point is that I don't think "off of" is used in modern varieties of British / Commonwealth English, except when borrowing from or imitating US English. But I could be totally wrong. :)

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Re: "off of"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:00 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
You seem to be saying that this expression is not found in British English, and my point is that it is. That's all.
No worries. I appreciate your historical references. My point is that I don't think "off of" is used in modern varieties of British / Commonwealth English, except when borrowing from or imitating US English. But I could be totally wrong. :)

You probably are. The English spoken within the British Isles is probably as varied as the English spoken everywhere else. As such, I strongly doubt there are any constructions that existed in English centuries ago that don't still exist in at least some dialects of British English.
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Re: "off of"

Postby AndrewT » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
Quincunx wrote:"off of" sounds silly unless you pronounce it right. i.e., 'awf ov'. In the same way one says 'there is not enough room in the room' with the first oo pronounced as in 'good', and the second as in 'doom'.


I'd pronounce them both as in "doom".


Sorry for the zombie thread, but I followed it off (of) the latest post. I'm in the same boat as Sizik on this one, and I'm curious which dialect(s) differentiate like Quincunx does.

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Re: "off of"

Postby Monika » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:23 pm UTC

Daniel0 wrote:Pardon if there exists a topic on this, but the forum refused to let me search for it - the words "off" and "of" are too common.

Anyway, I've never understood why people say "off of", like "I got it off of some website". It sounds really stupid to me, like the person is stuttering or something like that. The "of" seems completely redundant to me. It would be perfectly fine to just say "I got it off some website" instead - fewer words, no stuttering, much nicer. It seems that it's mostly en-US speakers that are doing this. What's up with the entire "off of" thing?

I say and write "off of" because "off" doesn't seem / feel like a preposition to me, so "off + noun" constructs sound strange.
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Re: "off of"

Postby Keand64 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:47 am UTC

Personally I think it's an emphasis thing, but that might just be me. I tend to use it to imply an emphasis on possession or source:
*I took it off the table - I altered the situation so that "it" is no longer on the table
*I took it off of the table - I came into possession of "it" from the table. OR I caused "it" to exist in a new (undefined) position from which it was originally on the table.
But they might be the same and the difference is just in my head (for example: I read 'Roc' and 'rock' as if there was some pronunciation difference, but when I actually say them, I say them the same, and can't figure out what the pronunciation difference would be).
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Re: "off of"

Postby jobriath » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:33 am UTC

In some Yorkshire accents, "off of" is still common. Yorkshire seems to use a lot of old-fashioned constructions.

English has strong ties to German so I wonder if the following stab in the dark is right. All this is without any explicit knowledge of how old German => Modern English, so take salt. It seems related to Pleochism's comment about "af van" in Afrikaans.

Some prepositions can take either an akkusativ (direct object) or dativ (indirect object) object. The meaning changes between them: akkusativ auf den Tisch implies motion, onto the table; dativ auf dem Tisch implies on the table. An indirect object in English is often indicated with a preposition, since our articles and nouns aren't declined (der, den, dem) like in German. It's probably too strong a statement that "off of" is to "off" as "auf (dat.)" is to "auf (akk.)", but it suggests how the two forms might have come about.

PM 2Ring wrote:The classic example being [British] "I wrote to my mother" vs [US] "I wrote my mother". To my ears, "I wrote my mother" sounds as odd as "I spoke my mother", and some part of my brain wants to add quotes to make the sentence "correct": "I wrote "my mother"".


In German the verb "schreiben" (to write) takes a dative object which might be translated as "to my mother". Maybe "wrote my mother" survives idiomatically? If you want to sprechen with someone, you'll have to sprechen mit them; sprechen is intransitive, like in English. Again, salt.

AndrewT wrote:
Quincunx wrote:"off of" sounds silly unless you pronounce it right. i.e., 'awf ov'. In the same way one says 'there is not enough room in the room' with the first oo pronounced as in 'good', and the second as in 'doom'.


Sorry for the zombie thread, but I followed it off (of) the latest post. I'm in the same boat as Sizik on this one, and I'm curious which dialect(s) differentiate like Quincunx does.


Room-rhymes-with-rum sounds upper-(middle)-class Southern English to me. I'd be surprised to hear it North of there, and OTOH anywhere else in the world, too.
Last edited by jobriath on Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:25 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "off of"

Postby Monika » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:56 pm UTC

That's an interesting theory.

"off of ..." in German is "von ... herunter" (off = herunter, in speaking abbreviated to runter).

You need to replace your one b with /b.
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