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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 139

    The "off" preposition


    I have a question regarding what "off" means here. I never seem to get what "off" means when I encounter it. I struggle with its meaning.

    Anyway, here is the text:

    But my, how times have changed! There’s an exclamation in every email and text, if not a string of them!!! As we type, we glibly spray them about like candies off a parade float. It has gotten to a point, as many have noted, where it appears rude, unenthusiastic and perhaps apathetic not to include one in the simplest of messages. We sneer at the ungrateful Thanks. We are unsettled by the emotionless Sure."
    Does "off" here show that those candies were, let's say, departing to join a parade float or that those candies were actually taking distance from that parade float?

    Thank you.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: The "off" preposition

    People on the parade float throw candies from the float to the crowd. You can change "off" to "from" in this sentence with no change in meaning.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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