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    #1

    Question start (off) a speech

    Source 1
    Obama started his speech at the White House correspondents dinner on Saturday by joking once again about the controversy, with a montage set to the tune of "Real American."
    Source 2
    Palin started off her speech which was closed to reporters with a light talk about the links between her state and the southern Chinese territory, then touched later on economic issues.
    Dictionaries suggest "start a speech" and "start off a speech" are the same. "Off" seems to add nothing to the second example. Am I missing some subtleties here?

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    #2

    Re: start (off) a speech

    You are not missing anything. The expression means the same, with or without the "off."

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    #3

    Re: start (off) a speech

    The party started off well.
    The party started well.
    Is there really no difference to native readers?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: start (off) a speech

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    Is there really no difference to native readers?
    How many native speakers to you need to confirm what the dictionaries and Soothing Dave have told you? I agree with both the dictionaries and Dave.

    If you like, I'll add that some speaker might consider 'start off' to be slightly more informal that 'start', but as many don't, there's not much point.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: start (off) a speech

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CaseyA
    Is there really no difference to native readers?

    How many native speakers to you need to confirm what the dictionaries and Soothing Dave have told you? I agree with both the dictionaries and Dave.

    If you like, I'll add that some speakers might consider 'start off' to be slightly more informal that 'start', but as many don't, there's not much point.

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