Get Offa’ that Damn Couch: Prepositions in the U.S. South

Not so long ago, I was reading through a grammar lesson on prepositions. Prepositions are notoriously difficult to master for English language learners. As many of you know, from the pair of prepositions “Off/Of,” you should never use the word “of” after the word “off.”
Right: The glass fell off the table.
Wrong: The glass fell off of the table.
But how many of you American Southerners can’t help but use “of” after “off?” ME! Down here, we pronounce “off of” as “offa.” I’d much rather say, “You’d better get down offa that damn sofa before I tear that tail up” than “Stop jumping on the sofa and get down before you get in trouble.”
Or, instead of saying, “You need to get off the table” it just feels so much better to say, “If you fall down offa that table, ain’t nobody gone help you up.” (Hmmmm…some of you might be wondering if Southerners are always standing on furniture.)
And while I am familiar with correct grammar usage, I gotta admit, I do enjoy my Southern dialect and I ain’t comin’ offn’ it. Note here that I did not pronounce “off of” as “offa.” Instead, I used “offn'” That’s because it would be awkward sounding to pronounce the vowel “a” in “offa” before the vowel “i” in “it.” In this case, changing the vowel to a consonant flows much more beautifully.
NOTE: “kick off with” is an idiom meaning “let’s begin with”; typically used informally.

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