Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The sentence I'm crafting is as follows:

That's some sage-like advice apropros of Mister Miyagi

Is that proper usage of the word?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

No, it is incorrect usage, given what you meant (I was wanting to compare someone's advice to that given by Miyagi ).
apropos comes from French language where it is common, but in English I think it is formal.
In some very specific contexts, it is proper. First, Miyagi has to be mentioned before. For example, suppose you spoke or heard something about Miyagi. And also, suppose Miyagi is a wise man, that gives great advice-a modern Sun-Tzu. Then, another person, tells you a tip. You might say then That's some sage-like advice apropros of Mister Miyagi

From Cambridge Dictionary:

ap·ro·pos adv used to introduce something which is related to or connected with something that has just been said
I had a letter from Sally yesterday - apropos (of) which, did you send her that article?
Apropos what you said yesterday, I think you made the right decision.!

share|improve this answer
1  
Agree with you but, just to clarify, technically apropos is used correctly in the OP's sentence, and it is OK to use it when referring to a person. Of course, given what the OP wants to say, apropos is not the right word to use. –  nico Jul 14 '11 at 6:12
2  
@nico - I do not agree that the OP used it correctly. Sure, it can refer to a person, but in that case it would have to be: "I saw Mr. Miyagi at the store yesterday." "Apropos (of) Mr. Miyagi, that was some sage advice you gave me earlier." In other words, since Mr. Miyagi has come up as a topic, we can connect him with the advice - but we can't say that the advice was "apropos" of him. –  MT_Head Jul 14 '11 at 8:19
add comment

I think reminiscent of is a better fit. If you write

"That's some sage-like advice reminiscent of Mister Miyagi",

it means

"That reminds me of something Mr. Miyagi would say, like 'The best block is: no be there'"

Apropos means "fitting" or "appropriate"; you can say that Mr. Miyagi says things that are apropos to the situation, but the things he says are not apropos of him. It's also quite common to use "Apropos" or "Apropos of" as a substitute for "Speaking of" or "With regard to" at the beginning of a statement:

"I saw Mr. Miyagi at the store yesterday."
"Apropos (of) Mr. Miyagi, that was some sage advice you gave me earlier."

I like to use "apropos" as a way to change the subject. Sometimes you want to say something that's so totally unrelated to the previous conversation that "By the way" just doesn't work:

Apropos of nothing, did you hear about the kid who ran through a screen door and strained himself?

share|improve this answer
add comment

Technically, you can put the word there without any grammar alarms ringing, but the meaning isn't quite right.

What is intended is "of the type you'd expect from", but "apropos of" means more along the lines of "with reference to".

I believe what's happened is that the speaker has gone for the more modern, "unofficial", usage, where it is used to mean "appropriate", probably because the words sound largely the same.

The word "luck" sounds largely the same as another word, too, which highlights the reason for not choosing words that only sound like the one that expresses what you want to say.

share|improve this answer
add comment

That seems to be a proper usage if the advice is about Mister Miyagi, rather than from him. Personally I would leave out the of, but usage varies.

Added after comments: If you want to compare someone's advice to that given by Miyagi, then you need to say that, perhaps "That's sage-like advice compared with Mister Miyagi's" if you think it better, or "That advice is as sage-like as Mister Miyagi's" if you think it as good.

share|improve this answer
    
I was wanting to compare someone's advice to that given by Miyagi –  Bennie Jul 14 '11 at 0:24
2  
Then I that you need to say that, perhaps "That's sage-like advice compared with Mister Miyagi's" if you think it better, or "That advice is as sage-like as Mister Miyagi's" if you think it as good. –  Henry Jul 14 '11 at 0:41
1  
The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~Mark Twain –  Bennie Jul 14 '11 at 0:47
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.