Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 14:13:25 -0500 From: Ron Butters Subject: FEEL (OF) [was "how good of"] HOW GOOD (OF)--I can say it either way. "How good of a linguist is Dennis?" is OK, but so is the sentence without the OF. A similar question for me involes FEEL (OF), as in "Feel (of) this material, Dennis!" I've given some thought to this, prompted by a freind who found FEEL OF invariably weird. For me, FEEL OF is possible, but it can only refer to actual (usually) volitional (digito)tactile sensation, thus, I FELT OF THE KNIFEPOINT AGAINST MY BACK would only be possible if I put my finger against the knife after sensing it against my back. I guess one can FEEL OF something with one's skin, too, but doesn't it have to be volitional or at least pleasurable?: FEEL OF THIS WHIP, DENNIS! would not mean that I am threatening to strike him--or even offering to strike him with his permission (e.g., on his bare buttocks)--but only that I want him to put out his hand or perhaps a cheek and stroke the whip gently. Well, now, what if Dennis enjoys being whipped? FEEL OF THIS WHIP, DENNIS! still doesn't quite sound right, does it? Is the key that FEEL OF requires rubbing, not striking? Are there idiolectal/dialectal differences here?