A question straight from the football commentary pages :

X's shot deflected off of Y before finding its way into the net.

What is the correct usage here ?
Deflected off of or deflected off ??

Or, are both usages correct?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, choster, anongoodnurse, Matt E. Эллен, Kit Z. Fox Feb 10 '14 at 17:40

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  • The duplicate question answers my query. Can I go ahead and delete this question? Or should I just leave this here as a duplicate? (I now feel that my question just adds clutter and little extra information) – Yaitzme Feb 10 '14 at 4:47
  • @Yaitzme if you could go ahead and mark an answer here if there is an adequate one, that would be helpful (in case people searching for the answer come here before they find the older questions, this will prevent them from having to take more steps to find the answer). – TylerH Feb 10 '14 at 14:55
  • Once you hit a reputation of 250, you may vote to close your own questions. – TylerH Feb 10 '14 at 15:12
  • Duplicate questions can act as signposts to help other users find the canonical question, so I wouldn't worry too much about deleting it. – Kit Z. Fox Feb 10 '14 at 17:41

"Deflected off" is correct in both AmE and BrE. But British English doesn't use "off of", so "deflected off of" is only correct in American English. Google "deflected off of" and "before finding its way", and you'll see that the pages it returns are nearly all North American hockey and soccer (i.e., football in the rest of the world).

  • 3
    I think it's slightly overstating the case to say off of is actually incorrect in BrE. It's just much less common - but the version with of is far less common on both sides of the pond anyway (even though presumably less Americans would find it "odd"). My guess is American sports commentators are also more likely to use forms like before finding its way in that sort of context, which probably skews things a bit more, too. – FumbleFingers Feb 10 '14 at 4:23
  • @FumbleFingers: you're right about "before finding its way": ... Googling "deflected off" and "before finding its way" still returns mostly American sports commentary, but it also returns a few posts on European football games. – Peter Shor Feb 11 '14 at 18:40
  • You'd know better than me, obviously, but I do get the impression American sports commentators tend to throw in more "superfluous" words than, say, those covering politics, world affairs, etc. Perhaps it's a crackpot theory, but I wonder if maybe sports commentators are more likely to be drawn from the ranks of people who spent more of their time at college playing sport rather than learning the three R's. (And perhaps some of them wouldn't have even got in to college if they weren't good at sports in the first place! :) – FumbleFingers Feb 11 '14 at 19:01

Both are correct. Off and of are both prepositions, but English likes to stack its prepositions where one alone may do. Thus we get the following:

Either 'I jumped off of the cliff and in to the water' or 'I jumped off the cliff and in the water'.

Either 'I walked out through the door and jumped down from the porch on to the pavement' or 'I walked through the door and jumped from the porch on the pavement'.

Either 'I will be going over to Sally's house at about 8:30' or 'I will be going to Sally's house about 8:30'.

And so on.

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    "Off of" is much more common in American English. It is superfluous and almost unheard of, in British English. – Tristan r Feb 10 '14 at 12:54
  • "jumped in to the water is incorrect". The preposition that should be used is "into". "off of" is improper usage. The preposition "off" is sufficient. – eklarter Feb 10 '14 at 14:51

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