Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 09:48:15 -0500 From: Gregory {Greg} Downing Subject: Responsibility of (Was: No Heading) At 09:31 AM 12/4/97 -0500, you wrote: >I just finished 15 papers on Paradise Lost. Three of them described Adams' >responsibility OF Eve's actions. Coincidence, collusion or something else? > Maybe they (con)fuse responsibility (for) with control or charge (of). Or (this is a joke!) they are taking advantage of the fact that English was still loose about some issues in the mid 17C -- I was just discussing on another list the mid-17C poet Marvell's use of uncessant rather than modern incessant. Maybe not a joke, though -- OED2 has a separately numbered submeaning 1b for "responsibility" as constructed with "of," citing Dickens in Old Cur. Shop and Wilkie Collins in Black Robe. (Submeaning 1c, constructed with "for," gives a first cite from Shaw in Man & Superman....) "Responsibility of": Survival or solecism? The lady or the tiger.... Now if they write "responsability" (aargh, and not given as an orthographoic variant in OED), that's a hearse of a different color.... Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]