Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Indonesia

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 309
    #1

    talk 'of'

    Dear all,

    I come across this sentence written by native speaker

    People talk of journalism

    Why does he use 'of' ?

    Why not People talk about journalism

    Many thanks

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 191
    #2

    Re: talk 'of'

    I don't have a good answer - I think of and about are interchangeable in your example, but it reminds me of the Lewis Carrol poem:

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."




    **** Not a teacher ****

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Indonesia

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 309
    #3

    Re: talk 'of'

    to luschen

    Many thanks

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 191
    #4

    Re: talk 'of'

    On further pondering:

    I think "to talk of journalism" is more formal. It implies perhaps a conversation about the philosophy or journalism or the changing role of journalism in today's networked society.

    While "to talk about journalism" might be more informal, such as "what do you think is our city's best newspaper?"

    I think the distinction is what makes Carrol's verse so humorous. If he said "To talk about many things" it sounds like a boring conversation - this is what I know about sealing wax, this is what I know about cabbages, etc.

    But "To talk of many things" implies a wild and crazy conversation. Perhaps an overarching philosophy connecting shoes and ships and sealing wax with kings and the meaning of life. He is satirizing "great thinkers" who ponder tiny details while getting the basic facts completely wrong.


    **** Not a teacher! ****

  1. freezeframe's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2011
    • Posts: 2,113
    #5

    Re: talk 'of'

    Quote Originally Posted by luschen View Post
    On further pondering:

    I think "to talk of journalism" is more formal. It implies perhaps a conversation about the philosophy or journalism or the changing role of journalism in today's networked society.

    While "to talk about journalism" might be more informal, such as "what do you think is our city's best newspaper?"
    I agree on all points

    "to talk of x" means to me more of a discussion/debate on x
    "to talk about x" means to me that x was the topic/subject of the conversation

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Jan-2011, 00:46
  2. [Grammar] 'largest number of' and 'biggest number of'
    By wotcha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2010, 18:09
  3. [General] talk your head off = talk to your heart's content
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 22-May-2010, 02:36
  4. 'iron out' 'get rid of' 'get shot of'
    By twilit in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-Aug-2008, 20:12
  5. Question of 'amount of' & 'number of'
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-Jun-2003, 16:59

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •