Author Topic: English: I've heard him spoken of / heard of him spoken  (Read 1997 times)

Offline Trompette

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English: I've heard him spoken of / heard of him spoken
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:43:31 AM »
Hi there!

In Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose (English version), I read this: [context: A is an inquisitor and he is trying to have B admit he is an heretic]

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(A) "Have you ever heard of Gherardo of Parma?"
(B) "I have heard him spoken of."

Which I would translate, in French, as "J'ai entendu parler de lui."


But today I heard from an 18-year-old from Yorkshire:
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I've heard of him spoken
(I can't quite remember what she was talking about and I can't say she acted as if she realized her tongue had slipped)

I suppose the translator what s/he was doing. Does it sound overly booky though? What do you think of the second phrasing?

Thanks for your opinion on this!

Offline Daniel

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Re: English: I've heard him spoken of / heard of him spoken
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 10:47:05 AM »
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I've heard of him spoken
If I said that, it would either be hypercorrection ("don't end a sentence with a prepositon") or a blend of the very common "I've heard of him" +spoken.
But I don't think I'd say that. So it's hard to speculate about another speaker, especially of a different dialect (I'm from the US).

I have heard that some speakers from Yorkshire have preserved and use a lot of otherwise archaic forms. Does this speaker use thou, for example?
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Offline Trompette

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Re: English: I've heard him spoken of / heard of him spoken
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 01:00:32 PM »
No, she doesn't, but she is 18 and she comes from York. I read that some people still do that in some parts of Northern England, but I guess it does not apply to York and the 'thou' thing might be true of older people only, and supposedly also to those who live in more rural areas?
Apparently the dialect spoken in West Yorkshire is broader than here in York (North Yorks.). Even young people say t' for the, for example. But people all over Yorkshire sometimes say 'me' for 'my'!
In The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg says he used to 'thou' and 'thy' his friends in Cumbria back in the 1940s. :D

Anyway, thank you for your answer!