extremely polite and helpful treatment OF a woman by a man

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cicikuş, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. cicikuş Banned


    At the link below, the dictionary explains the meaning of the word gallantry as follows:
    extremely polite and helpful treatment of a woman by a man


    The thing which confuses me is that: In the explanation, the preposition of seems to me like that it indicates polite and helpful treatment belongs to a woman, does not belong to a man, even tough actually it means treatment is towards woman by a man.

    I'm ashamed to admit that I have never seen that the preposition of is used in that way. I looked up dictionary again and couldn't see that the preposition of is used in that way:

    I think, it would be more natural if the explanation was "extremely polite and helpful treatment towards a woman by a man". Do you agree, disagree? :eek:

    Thank you so much in advance
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Of can be used in a variety of situations. The relevant one here is the 6th in the definition when you put "of" in the search box at the top.
  3. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    I agree, it is rather confusing, and one could have extremely polite and helpful treatment of a man towards a woman. Your alternative is clearer and could well have been given. That being said the definition given is clear to native English speakers.
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    The even odder truth is that the sentence could be "a man's treatment of a woman." (I don't agree that "treatment toward" an object collocates.) We often discuss "an artist's treatment of her subject," "a novelist's treatment of historical biographical material," etc., using "of" with "treatment" in the sense given by Julian - and in other phrases like "the handling of a situation by an onlooker," "the dismissal of the case by a judge," "the scheduling of a meeting by the board" etc. etc. etc.

    Note that "treatment of a man towards a woman" could mean "somebody's handling of a man, a handling which is directed towards or for the benefit of a woman." The of/by structure is more clear and natural.
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    This use of "of" is not uncommon. Consider the following.

    John described his trip.
    John gave a description of his trip.

    I admired the way Donna solved the problem.
    I admired Donna's solution of the problem.

    The orchestra performed Beethoven's Third Symphony.
    Tony attended a performance of Beethoven's Third Symphony
  6. cicikuş Banned

    Greetings once again,

    When explaining the word hero-worship below, can we use the preposition "of" instead of the preposition "for"?

    strong admiration for someone, especially when this is extreme or unreasonable

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  7. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    This is different topic. Please see: "admiration of" or "admiration for"?
    You are welcome to post the question there. :)

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