Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/170

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A Desk-Book of

County Kent, leaving realm England at town Dover." Of is also frequently misused for from. Nothing but custom can justify the common form of receipt, "Received of . . ."

of any: Sometimes used incorrectly for of all; as, "This is the finest of any I have seen; say, rather, "finer than any other, or "finest of all."

off of: The preposition off, when noting origin and used in the sense of from is frequently followed most ungrammatically by of. No well educated person would say "I got these eggs off of Farmer Jones," nor would they "buy a steak off of the butcher" but "of" or "from" him. Off should not be used of a person, where from would suffice. You take a book from, not off, your friend; who may take it off a shelf. You do not even, in correct speech, take a contagious disease off him, as though it were something visible and tangible, and were bodily removed from his person.

official: A term sometimes used incorrectly for officer. An official is one holding public office or performing duties of a public nature; usually he is a subordinate officer; an officer is one who holds an office by election or appointment, especially a civil office, as under a government, municipality, or the like.

of the name of. Compare by the name of.

older, oldest: These terms are, according to best usage, applied only to persons belonging to different