phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: I can't take my eyes off of you

Posted by Smokey Stover on August 05, 2008 at 01:57

In Reply to: I can't take my eyes off of you posted by John on August 04, 2008 at 08:34:

: The title of the famous song "I can't take my eyes off of you." always annoys me. Isn't the "of" (after "off") unnecessary?

I know the song, and it is far from the worst grammatical glitch in songdom. My favorite is in the Bluebird of Happiness: "So be like I, hold your head up high. . . ." How could he hold his head up after that solecism?

But since 1962 grammarians have been forcedm probably correctly, to see most double prepositions as part of the language. Some sound worse than others, but we have become somewhat inured to phrases like, "He jumped off of the table," or "He was told to keep his elbows off of the table." Some preposition pairs are actually necessary: "I almost jumped out of my skin." I can't think of a lot of good examples today.

Is "off of" necessary in the song you mention? Surely not, if you mean grammatically. However, the lyricist wanted a syllable there, so "off of" is the result. I'm as sorry about it as you.
SS