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Why use 'about them' in this sentence?

I appreciate every kind of person, most notably those who have a good sense of humour, a positive outlook on life as well as a good energy about them.

Do not just write without "about them"?

I appreciate every kind of person, most notably those who have a good sense of humour, a positive outlook on life as well as a good energy.

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Because

people who have a good energy

Is not the same as

people who have a good energy about them

I am not even sure how one would interpret people who have a good energy (I guess the interpretation depends on one's religious or metaphysical outlook on life), but people with a good energy about them, meaning "around them", clearly seems to indicate that they radiate something positive, they make the people around them feel good.

As such, the two options are as different as, say

I like people that have a blue coat (even when they left it at home).

and

I like people who have a blue coat on. (They are wearing it.)

I agree it would be probably strange to judge people on whether they wear that coat when I meet them, but I hope you understand my point :)

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"About them" is supposed to emphasize that the energy is associated with their physical person...it is a little redundant.

You might also say something like "He had an air of mystery about him". That definitely sounds weird if you leave off the "about him".

  • I don't agree that it sounds weird in the case of an air of mystery. Sounds fine. – Oldcat Jan 29 '14 at 19:54

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