When I want to write that some something has been "taken to mean" or "understood" or "interpreted as" XYZ, I sometimes use the phrase "to conceive of something as XYZ, where XYZ usually is a longer and detailed explanation.
So, I often end up having a sentence like this:
Something has been conceived of as XYZ.
My supervisor, when reading my drafts, always marks this as wrong and wants me to get rid of "of", so that the sentence would read:
Something has been conceived as XYZ.
While trusting my supervisor with his native speaker intuition and his really good knowledge of grammar et al., I still feel that the sentence requires the "of". It sounds terrible to me.
Anybody in for a verdict on this?