IVP - Andy Unedited - Based on Past Experience

May 14, 2014

Based on Past Experience

When I was young, a movie was based on a novel, a lecture was based on research and a joke was based on current events. But now movies are based off novels, lectures are based off research and jokes are based off current events.

Call me a curmudgeon man from b.jpeg("You're a curmudgeon!") but doesn't the metaphor of a base suggest a foundation on which something else rests? Now I suppose one could argue that a base can also be a launching pad from which something lifts off. But to me that implies that the connection which once existed is now lost, in the past, left far behind.

Now if "based off" is questionable at best, "based off of" is completely out of bounds. The extra "of" is utterly unnecessary--a perfect example of clutter that desperately needs to be expunged.

Anne Curzan offers interesting analysis of this trend based on searches with the Ngram Viewer. She is a little more forgiving (and probably a better human being) than I am when it comes to recognizing that metaphors in English are not always strictly observed and probably don't have to be.

Nonetheless, if I ever do something like that, it had better happen by accident rather than on accident.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at May 14, 2014 10:33 AM Bookmark and Share


I thought derivative works were based "upon" their source!

Comment by: Neil at July 15, 2014 9:32 AM

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.