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Dr Grammar

Trouble word "Of"

Posted by Bouncing Bee   30 Jul 2014 11 52 am

Dear Dr Grammar,

I wonder whether the preposition "to" should be used rather than "of" in the following sentence:

" A brief is not written even by a 'brilliant' lawyer in a single afternoon; if it is, the product is unworthy both of the client and of the court."

I think the word "unworthy" , becuase of the preposition "of", contributing to the agents namely "the client and the court" instead of "the brief". Is my observation correct?

Have a nice trip and many thanks.
Bouncing Bee

Posted by alex stringer   30 Jul 2014 3 56 pm

Dear Bee

When something is unworthy of somebody or something, then it is not good enough for that person or thing.
When someone has done or said something that is unworthy of him /her (the sayer or doer) then s/he should be ashamed of it.
If something is unworthy of respect / attention / consideration etc., it does not deserve respect, attention or consideration.

In your example, a hurriedly-written brief is not good enough for the client and the court.

More examples BNC):
(1) Such tales are unworthy of inclusion here.
(2) I have brought my poor present, unworthy of your acceptance.
(3) He is unworthy of respect.
(4) Such a suggestion is unworthy of the hon. Gentleman.
(5) Guy…that's unworthy of you!’ she chided shakily

(1) - Not good enough to be included in (his collection?)
(2) - The present is not good enough for you to accept it.
(3) - He doesn't deserve respect.
(4) - The suggestion (by an MP in the UK parliament) is so bad the honorourable gentlemen(MP) should by ashamed of it.
(5) - Whatever Guy said or did should make him ashamed.

Hope this helps

Dr G

Posted by Bouncing Bee   18 Aug 2014 12 10 pm

Dear Dr. G

Thank you for your trenchant explanation.

Best Regards,
Bouncing Bee

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