4

Beside some of them he had jotted the letter A for Anstis, and if it had crossed Strike’s mind that it might be considered arrogant or deluded of a private detective with no authority in the investigation to imagine he had the power to delegate tasks to the police officer in charge of the case, the thought did not trouble him. (The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith)

At first, it’s a place for ‘for’ not ‘of', I thougt. Is it a pattern that if an adjective before ‘of’ has the property of of’s complement, and this of-pp denotes the agent of to infinitive as well, you use ‘of’ instead of ‘for,’ without exceptions?

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  • Keep in mind that the default preposition is "of". And so, sometimes another preposition might be better, and sometimes "of" might not be acceptable, but overall, when in doubt, er, the preposition "of" is kinda like the default preposition. :)
    – F.E.
    Oct 12 '14 at 3:46
  • 2
    This is really interesting! Google Ngram of considered * of him returned: unworthy, worthy, characteristic. Google Ngram of considered * for him returned: necessary, safe, proper, unsafe, good, sufficient, that, best, advisable, prudent. Based on these adjectives, the of-adjectives seem to be part of him or his characteristic, something he possesses. The for-adjectives seem to be more about third-person view. This supports F.E.'s "'of' is kinda like the default proposition". Oct 12 '14 at 4:13
1

You might think it arrogant of me to ask, but do you love the works of Robert Galbraith?

It was rude of you to butt into the line ahead of people who have been waiting.

It is so kind of you to say so!

"For" would not work in the second or third sentence.

See OED of III. V. 16.

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  • I am using the teeny-tiny print version with a cheapo magnifying glass. Could be I miscounted. Oct 13 '14 at 13:27
  • section V.16 is correct. My apologies. Oct 13 '14 at 13:29

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