A Couple Things

On Monday, I read a post in which the words “a couple things” appeared several times. The post was well written and I agreed with many of the points made by it’s author. However those few words “a couple things” set my teeth on edge. Surely the correct way to demonstrate that one is speaking of several things as opposed to a single object is to say “a couple of things” rather than “a couple things”? Apart from “a couple things” being grammatically incorrect, it strikes me as being somewhat lazy to omit one word “of” when writing “a couple things”. The amount of time saved by not including “of” is, surely so insignificant as to be unworthy of the effort entailed in so doing?

I have also seen the words “couple things” rendered with both the “a” and the “of” omitted. I struggle to understand why literate individuals would indulge in such lazy behaviour, but perhaps I am being unreasonable in my criticism?

I have no wish to single out either the individual or the article in question, hence no link is provided. I have, however come across the following discussion concerning “couple things”, https://painintheenglish.com/case/267/), in which some adhere to my view while others disagree. As always I would welcome my reader’s views.

Kevin

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11 thoughts on “A Couple Things

  1. thesarahdoughty

    I understand what you’re saying. Not long ago I made a personal post titled, “Couple Things” knowing full well that it was grammatically incorrect. But it was my title and the content wasn’t dealing with any creative writings​. I agree though, if an author is going to use something so generic, they should use it appropriately.

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      I agree with you that there is a difference between a personal post and one pertaining to creative writing. I must confess to being somewhat unusual in that I rarely shorten sentences. I hate predictive text and have it turned off on my mobile. So I am, perhaps a little old-fashioned in some respects. Best, Kevin

      Reply
  2. roughseasinthemed

    I find it intensely annoying, but I also dislike ‘look out the window,’ ‘walk out the door’. Further examples of the missing ‘of’ which seem to have drifted across the Atlantic.

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Thanks for your comment Kate. I agree with the points you make. On a related matter, my bank had the following automated message until very recently, which greeted anyone calling the 0800 number, “please do not share your personal details to anyone”. It is only very recently that the “to” has been replaced with “with!”

      Reply
      1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

        You may well be right Kate. I believe that it is the Beautiful South who have a song with lyrics to the effect of “the world is turning Disney and there is nothing you can do”, or something like that.

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