I am reading a text where several sentences start with "Of note". For example:

Of note, these associations were generally quite strong.

I know of the idiom "of note" (M-W: "important and deserving to be noticed or remembered") but is it OK to start a sentence like this?

My first instinct would be to replace "of note" in these sentences with something like "importantly" or "it is notable that" or even "it is of note that" -- but what would a native speaker say?

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    What kind of text? I would think it would sound fine in some contexts (such as a scientific text book, or a law school book) but not so much in others (like a romance novel, or science fiction short story). – J.R. Aug 27 '19 at 10:30
  • It's scientific text. I found the idiom ("of note") from M-W but it seems to be used somewhat differently in dictionary examples ("many of his comments are worthy of note"; "Roman historians of note include Livy, Tacitus, and Sallust") than in this text (to paraphrase the dictionary examples, "Of note, Livy, Tacitus and Sallust were Roman rather than Greek historians"; "Of note, he made many noteworthy comments"). Does it seem OK to start a sentence this way? (I edited my question to make it clearer) – lebatsnok Aug 27 '19 at 11:28
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    There is "of note", meaning famous: painters of note. And there is: It is to be noted or it should be noted that blah blah blah. They do not have the same meaning, and of note in the sense of famous is not at the beginning. So, what you are reading contains incorrect grammar. – Lambie Aug 27 '19 at 13:28

I believe the phrase "of note" in this case is an appositive adverbial phrase modifying the main clause ("these associations were generally quite strong"). It attempts to give you a better description or context for the main conclusions.

Your instinct to replace it with "importantly" is also correct, and "it is of note that" is even more literal, however it is not uncommon or incorrect for speakers/writers to shorten these phrases to the barest minimum of words that retain meaning. It's just a matter of style.

Consider the following:

"Dinner finished, we left the house."

"Having finished dinner, we left the house."

"After we finished dinner, we left the house"

In all three, the first phrase (about dinner) is a modifier of the second (it describes the time/circumstances of when we left the house). The first conveys this idea in the fewest possible words, followed by the second, and then the third. All are grammatically correct and mean the same thing, it's just a stylistic choice by the author of which to use.

In the example you give, "of note..." is the same idea. The full literal sense of the phrase is, "it is of note that..." but it has been shortened down to a more compact form.

There is nothing grammatically incorrect about starting a sentence in this way.

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