Ironically, people will become more conscious about, and probably critical of, your informal speech when it comes off as uptight.

  1. Can I drop about?

  2. Is the setting off of the part in bold correct?

  3. Does uptight capture showing excessive adherence to rules?

1 Answer 1


Since conscious...of is the standard collocation, yes, you could do so:

... conscious and probably critical of...

But you cannot do so when the preposition is not licensed by the adjective. For example: conscious of and delighted with cannot become conscious and delighted with because conscious with is an unlicensed combination.

P.S. This "sharing" of a preposition tends to occur in writing more than in conversation. It is not a natural way of speaking, and as a result many native speakers bungle it when they write, using unlicensed combinations. I am not an advocate for its use by any means. I would prefer to economize by using a pronoun instead of sharing a preposition:

People will become more conscious of your informal speech and probably critical of it...

  • I thought conscious about was the correct combination. Thank you.
    – Rose
    Jan 28, 2017 at 13:08
  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Jan 28, 2017 at 13:15
  • 1
    But self-conscious about...
    – TimR
    Jan 29, 2017 at 11:50
  • related: is it normal to use em-dashes, commands or nothing at all for combos like "conscious of and delighted with"? "conscious of -- and delighted with -- the whatsit" "conscious of, and delighted with, the whatsit"... can't find this anywhere
    – Rhubarb
    Feb 4, 2022 at 11:12
  • @Rhubarb: em-dashes would be perfectly acceptable, or commas, treating the second phrase as an aside: "I'm aware of—and delighted with—the plan that is underway to turn this patch of green space into a parking lot," said the mayor.
    – TimR
    Feb 5, 2022 at 16:06

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