Posted by James Briggs on September 24, 2004
In Reply to: So "off of" is never correct? posted by Word Camel on September 24, 2004
: : : : : : I have been hearing the term "off from" a lot at work recently. I remember it being "off of" instead. Can anyone help me out? Example: I got that information off from the internet.
: : : : : Have your colleagues been drinking? "Off of work", I've heard "Off from work" I've heard. "Off from the Internet" is just gobbledy gook. "Off the Internet" or "From the Internet" are fine.
: : : : : It think the difference is that with something like "off from work", off is used in the sense of leaving, i.e. "I'm off". Where am I off from? I'm off/leaving from work. In the Internet example, "off" is used in same sense as "from". So "off" and "from" used together are redundant. That is why I think it sounds odd.
: : : : : Language people could probably explain it better. But in general, you aren't crazy. It isn't a great use of the language.
: : : : English Major, I haven't heard that usage here in the backward United States. What part of the world are you in that has surpassed us in linguistic inventiveness?
: : : "Off of" is a fairly common but ugly piece of slangy misusage in the UK, eg "I got it off of a friend of mine." Needless to say, a simple "from" is both the correct and the more elegant preposition.
: : Just a conjecture. Apparent redundancies may sometimes stem from the desire to make something short, or perhaps too short for the comfort of the utterer, longer and thus more distinct. Sometimes "off from" makes sense, as in " He stood a way off from the building." Yes, it might be better to say "somewhat away from the building," or even "a ways away from the building." I don't particularly care for that last one, but I've heard it plenty of times. Have you ever heard that someone wished to "orientate" himself. Redundancy of a sort, no?
: I can see the logic but I'm unsure. What about something like: "Imogen plucked the grasshopper off of Sarah's hat"?
'Off of' is still very common in parts of the UK, especially Cockney London. I was bought up with this as part of speech and, I remember that it took me many weeks of hard work to get rid of it when I started studying medicine and was told by by non-cockney colleagues that this was SO wrong! I think, back in the early 1950s, that I was the only cockney in the whole of St Thomas' Hospital Medical School. The only way I survived my first few months was to realise that I was cleverer than most of the others and come top, or near the top in the subjects studied. All soon, settled and I spent about 12 happy years as a student and then post graduate at 'Tommies'