On sports-talk radio one gets a good sense of what is happening to the English language. College-educated hosts regularly abuse the language in ways that would frustrate their teachers to no end. For example, one of the hosts of one of my favorite shows routinely says “him and me went to the game.” He’s an intelligent fellow but perhaps his education has failed him? We attended the same university, at different times, in different degree programs. I’m certain that Dr Leinieks, in the classics dept. would have mocked to tears any student who confused the accusative (objective) for the nominative (subjective). Think of Professor Kingsfield in The Paper Chase.
In the spirit of Kingsfield, I have noticed lately, which is to say that I have been irritated lately by, the expression, “big of a game” as in, “this is as big of a game as the team will play all season.” What’s wrong with this sentence? It includes the unnecessary preposition of. The sentence is clearer and briefer without it: “This is as big a game as the team will play all year” is a better sentence.
I suspect that a student would not use the extra preposition in an essay and colloquial speech is informal, as it should be but there’s no need for verbal filler even in informal speech.
In the next grammar rant I will like go all grammar-zealot over the abuse of the verb “to like” as in, “We were like going to mall.”