Opine on/about

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Gwan

Senior Member
New Zealand, English
Does anyone have any strong feelings on whether 'opine on' or 'opine about' is better? Google informs me 'opine on' is more popular, but both are used - I can't make up my mind which sounds better.

Sentence is:

Opines on/about the legal and constitutional implications of inflation, how to measure inflation, the Labour Government's handling of the economy from 1999-2008 and what should be done to control inflation in the future.

[We have a house style of beginning sentences with an active verb, no subject, before everyone starts jumping up and down :)]
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    OED opines on or upon.

    If I may raise myself very gently from the ground once or twice ...
    The house style sentences ... what is understood to be the subject of these sentences?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I find both strange - maybe because "opine" is a fairly obscure to start with. Does it have to be "opine"? If I had to go for one or the other I'd also go for "on".
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    If forced to use the word opine, I too would go for on.
    But I'd hope not to be forced to use it in the first place.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    It's rather sad that "opine" seems to have been consigned to some repository for old-fashioned or unattractive words! For me, it simply means to express an opinion on something, and whilst we might not use it in everyday conversation, I think it still has a useful role to play. It does however seem to have become associated with a rather negative meaning, someone holding forth, expressing views with a conceit for their own opinion, and so on.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Oh it doesn't have any particularly negative undertones for me, Scottie. It just always feels a bit ... erm ... precious somehow. (And, for me at least, it's the kind of word a particularly dull great uncle might use at a family funeral ~ you know, the type who calls a spade a metallo-xyloid excavatory implement;))

    This joke is ©, by the way:D
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    :) I'm not a great-uncle - I chose 'opine' because it's an editorial, which we don't usually index, and I wanted to make it clear that it was an opinion piece. That and the editor ranted in an unkind fashion about my political party of choice (librarian's subtle revenge).
    Sorry to offend your sensibilities, Panj, I don't makes the rules, I just follows them.
    And btw, I went with 'opine on'. Thanks to all & Merry Christmas!
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    After the event, but for what it's worth, I'd agree with on. I once used this word in a university essay. My tutor circled it with red ink and said it was a horrible word and never to use it again! I haven't used it again.
     
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