Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 22:13:34 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: "Smell of" >If it was discussed with regard to 'smell' only then it is certainly not >complete. I think the last series began with a question about 'feel of' or 'taste of' and that 'smell of' came into the discussion as well. Maybe the discussion came up in the spring or summer when Dennis Preston was too busy working on his Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology to spend much time on ads-l. > Danny Long pointed out that the 'of' appearance in verbs >appears to be limited to grammatical imperatives (pragmatically they are >often 'invitations' or 'offers'), and that would seem to even more strongly >relate them to the parallel nominal forms. If Danny is right, then 'Smell >of this' is gram matical, but 'I smelled of that rose yesterday' (with the >proper meaning - not 'I had the smell of a rose myself') is ungrammatical. >I'm not a sense-verb + 'of' speaker myself. Is that right for those of you >who are? All three of these verbs carry the sense of "check it out," "see if it's OK," or "verify this." If a group had been checking out roses and other flowers to see if we could find exactly the right fragrance for a perfume (or stink bomb) and the project lasted a couple of days, then the sentence posed by Dennis Preston would be appropriate and grammatical if I wanted to say "Yeah, I checked that one out yesterday (bent down and smelled of that one); we've gotta keep going till we find the right one." I've been trying to check out the 'see' sense verb for this 'vx of ny' pattern, but the only situation I've come up with is "Do you see much of Bobby?" "No. I saw him go into the hardware store the other day. Must be working on his house again. I don't see much of him anyway." "Do you see Bobby much?" would have different implicatures, perhaps referring to spending some time with Bobby rather than merely catching sight of him. And "see him around much" seems to be different from "see much of him." I'd be surprised if these 'sense of' verbs were found to be regional.