big a deal?

Milton   Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:49 pm GMT
I've heard someone saying on TV "It's not big A deal" or sth like it. I was wondering why they used that structure instead of "Not A bid deal". Looking forward to your reply.
guest   Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:52 pm GMT
hmm, haven't hear that myself...
could it possibly be a corruption of "It's not [that] big [of] a deal"?

who's using it? what context? ghetto?
furrykef   Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:05 pm GMT
I say "It's not that big a deal" sometimes... it must have the "that" before it, though. I can imagine some speakers omitting it, but I wouldn't say it that way.

Either way, it's strictly colloquial... I'm pretty sure it's just a shortening of "that big of a deal". Sometimes "of" becomes reduced to a schwa in colloquial speech (so "a sack of wheat" is pronounced, but never written, "a sack a wheat"), so in that case you would have two consecutive schwas ("that big a a deal"), which sounds unnatural in English, so then they merge into a single schwa. Or maybe the "of" is just omitted because it's automatically understood in context.

- Kef
guest   Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:42 pm GMT
usually reduction of "of" in "of + a" doesn't become double schwa but 'schwa + v + schwa' ("uhva"), the second schwa forcing the pronunciation of the medial v ("that big uva deal")
furrykef   Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:31 pm GMT
I don't see any reduction there. I usually pronounce "of" as "uhv", and the article "a" as "uh" (unless I'm emphasizing it). So "uhva" would be the expected pronunciation to begin with, not a reduced one.

- Kef
guest   Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:33 pm GMT
but FurryKef, you said this...

<<so in that case you would have two consecutive schwas ("that big a a deal")>>

where's the "uhva"?
guest   Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:35 pm GMT
btw, are you Ainu?

hence the "furry" of furryKef?...just curious. don't mean to intrude, be rude, or offend...
furrykef   Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:58 pm GMT
Eh? From what I understand, Ainu aren't really that hairy... they're just hairier than their neighbors, the Japanese. Anyway, I'm just your run-of-the-mill American white guy.

To answer what the "furry" signifies:

The short answer is I'm a "furry fan", which means I have an affinity for human-like animal characters such as Bugs Bunny, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc.

- Kef
Humble   Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:05 am GMT
<I've heard someone saying on TV "It's not big A deal" or sth like it. >

Rather "sth like that".

In adddition to Kef's 5.05 post, I'd say this construction is quite common, but it has to have a modifier (that, so, too) before the adjective.

-It's too serious a matter to discuss it in haste.
-So contentious an issue will surely divide the audience.

And it seems to me I've heard such in some high-brow conversations.
Grammar Crab   Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:01 pm GMT
Countless times have I heard "not that big a deal," "not that big of a deal," "no big deal," "no biggie," or "NBD." One has to wonder whether it IS that big of a deal, after all. Evaluate carefully when you hear this expression used. Do the words match the speaker's tone and body language?