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Violent crimes slightly up in Memphis in first 2 months of '11; property crimes drop » The Commercial Appeal
The number of major violent crimes in Memphis and Shelby County rose slightly in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year while major property crimes dipped, according to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.
Is the same period last year correct? Is the same period of last year wrong?
***** A NON-TEACHER'S COMMENT *****
(1) As the moderator told us, it seems that native speakers feel that
it is more idiomatic (the way native speakers use their language) to
delete the preposition.
(2) I have read (and heard) the expression "same period last year"
so often that I had never thought about the matter until reading your
(3) Of course, I consulted "Professor Google." And it seems that
you are 100% correct. According to perfect "book English," there
should be an "of." Here are two examples the "professor" gave me:
"Same period of last year."
"A 14% increase from the same period of the prior year."
(4) Omitting prepositions in English is very common. Sometimes it
becomes so common that speaking "perfect" English can sound
"wrong." Since we human beings speak so fast, it's understandable
that we drop our prepositions whenever possible. And your article
came from a newspaper, which needs to save space.
(5) The bottom line: IMHO, do not use the "of" in ordinary
conversation because (a) it is not idiomatic, (b) it is "wordy,"
and (c) your listener might be distracted when he hears you
use it. But, IMHO, go ahead and use it in very formal writing.
Thanks for your great question.
I don't agree that there "should be" a preposition. Compare: Let's do it again, at the same time next year?