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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    a freak of something // a freak about something

    Hello.

    He is a freak of music, science, history and computer.
    He is a freak about music, science, history and computer.


    Which sounds good to you? If either way isn't, could you reword it, please?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a freak of something // a freak about something

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    He is a freak of music, science, history and computer.
    He is a freak about music, science, history and computer.


    Which sounds good to you? If either way isn't, could you reword it, please?
    I don't like the use of the word 'freak' here, it would be better to say 'He is crazy about....'

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a freak of something // a freak about something

    I agree. Calling someone 'a freak about music' suggests they have an obsession rather than just enthuisiam. 'Freak of' is just wrong in this context; you can have a 'freak of nature', but not much else; it's a very strong collocation.

    'Crazy about' / 'mad about'...

    b

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a freak of something // a freak about something

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I agree. Calling someone 'a freak about music' suggests they have an obsession rather than just enthuisiam. 'Freak of' is just wrong in this context; you can have a 'freak of nature', but not much else; it's a very strong collocation.

    'Crazy about' / 'mad about'...

    b
    After writing 'not much else' I thought I'd better do some research to justify the view. I checked in the British National Corpus, and the results were pretty persuasive; 'freak of nature' occurs nearly half as often as all the other possibilities put together.

    1 FREAK OF NATURE 8
    2 FREAK OF FORTUNE 2
    3 FREAK OF FATE 2
    4 FREAK OF PHYSIOGNOMY 1
    5 FREAK OF PHYSICS 1
    6 FREAK OF HISTORY 1
    7 FREAK OF BREEDING 1
    8 FREAK OF BIRTH 1
    TOTAL 17
    More here: http://http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/

    b

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