IpseDixit wrote:In American English, do you use of + XY's?
In a website I've found this example:
-a student of Einstein's --> one of Einstein's students
-a student of Einstein --> someone who studies Einstein's work
However, that's a very convenient example, but what's the difference between, say, a friend of Mark and a friend of Mark's?
I wouldn't typically say "a friend of Mark"?
IpseDixit wrote:And how much practical validity all this has? Is it something really used IRL or is it just something made up by grammarians? As I said, I'm interested in American English.
Maybe what we have here is an interaction of semantics and register? That is, "an
" is more colloquial. You typically use a colloquial register when talking about friends. But calling someone "a student of Y" is a more formal expression.
There's also the fact that "Einstein" in the second example is really metonymic for "Einstein's work". When you say you are "studying Einstein", you probably don't mean that you're examining the minutiae of how he lived his life. You certainly don't mean it in the same way that you can be "studying Mark" where Mark's an ordinary person in the same room with you. I wouldn't say I'm a *"student of the Bible's" and "Einstein" here is semantically much closer to "Bible" than to "Mark".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons