2006 update: Mark Liberman addresses the source of the
[adjective] of a [noun] construction in the Language Log.
Is “big of a deal” as in “it’s not that big of a deal” a US usage, or am I just missing out on a trend?
I say “it’s not that big a deal”, “I don’t want to make that big a deal”, but not “it’s not that big of a deal” or “I don’t want to make that big of a deal”, but it seems like some of my correspondents do.
And does anyone else have those moments where you’ve been looking at words too long and they don’t look right any more? For a second, I thought “big” and “deal” weren’t even words…