English language Uncategorized

That’s amore

Q: I sometimes see people write “enamored of” and sometimes “enamored with.” Which is correct and why?

A: A handy book called Words Into Type, familiar to journalists, is often helpful for questions like this. It has a section called “The Right Preposition” that consists of a long list of words and the prepositions they take.

For “enamored,” the book recommends “enamored of” if the object is a person, and “enamored with” if the object is a scene (and here I’d extrapolate other inanimate things). So if you’re on a trip to Italy, you can be “enamored with” the view from the Boboli Gardens and “enamored of” your guide, Luigi.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.) seems to agree. Under the entry for “enamor,” it has these examples: “was enamored of the beautiful dancer; were enamored with the charming island.”

Shakespeare also seems to go along with this usage, if you’re willing to expand the definition of “person” to include a donkey. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titiana tells Oberon: “Methought I was enamoured of an ass.”

Well, as Dean Martin sang, “That’s amore.”

Buy Pat’s books at a local store or