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What preposition should follow enamour? Is one enamoured with something, or enamoured by something or enamoured of something or is it anything else? If more than one of the above is possible, is there any difference in their meanings? Or is one of them more prevalent or commoner than others?

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The distinction isn't as great with the British spelling (enamoured) NGram using the British spelling of enamoured, which may be what prompted the OP's question.

I actually hear more people say "enamored by," which is incorrect. I think this is a funny and memorable explanation of the preposition to use with enamored:

Enamored By ( or ) Enamored Of:

If you’re crazy about ferrets, you’re enamored of them.

It is less common but still acceptable to say "enamored with."

But if you say you are enamored by ferrets, you’re saying that ferrets are crazy about you.

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"Enamoured of" is the most common, according to Google NGram:

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And in 1820, no-one was enamoured of, with or by anything. –  Schroedingers Cat Mar 17 '12 at 16:46
    
@SchroedingersCat: I'm enamored with your comment. –  J.R. Mar 17 '12 at 16:56
    
...actually, the graph looks completely different with British corpus and spelling. We always massively favoured enamoured of, but there's a distinct increase in things we were enamoured with in 1820 (possibly we just loved noticing that Americans were a bit down in the mouth that year! :) –  FumbleFingers Mar 17 '12 at 22:39
    
@FumbleFingers That's the graph I linked to also (I think), but I didn't know how to insert it in my answer like Mr. McLeod did in his answer. –  JLG Mar 18 '12 at 0:05
    
@JLG: I asked how to do it on meta some time after I joined ELU. I never quite got the hang of the exact methods suggested, so I put my own answer saying how I (still) do it. I click on the "Image" icon, select "From the web", and paste in the address bar from the NGram webpage. I have to then change the word graph to chart in the pasted address before I click "Upload", which I'm sure the professionals think is dorky - but I've got used to that, and it works for me. –  FumbleFingers Mar 18 '12 at 0:27
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The Chicago Manual of Style, in their on-line "List of words and the prepositions construed with them" has this: "enamored (adj.): of (not with)." If you prefer to be considered correct, I would suggest using enamored of. The fact that a lot people use the incorrect preposition is really not a persuasive argument. Look how many people misuse the verb "comprise!"

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