# "On" versus "off"

We're having a debate in our office as to which of the following is grammatically correct:

Get savings of up to 75% off name brand clothes […].
Get savings of up to 75% on name brand clothes […].
Get savings of up to 75% off of name brand clothes […].

• Although it's syntactically valid, I doubt many people would actually write Option C. But I'm sure it's often spoken, where it wouldn't be so noticably ungainly. Apr 26, 2011 at 16:10
• I can also imagine seeing OPTION D "Get savings of up to 75% OFF ON name brand clothes..." Apr 26, 2011 at 16:16

There's a bit of a tangle here. The three players are:

• savings on name-brand clothes
• a savings of 75%
• 75% off

A. “Get savings of up to 75% off name-brand clothes…”
= “The savings you can get on name-brand clothes are up to 75% off

Option A simply omits on. Arguably it's kinda awkward: saying the savings are 75% is much nicer than the savings are 75% off, unless you're about to say …off list price or something, but then I'd likely prefer 25% of list to avoid confusion.

B. “Get savings of up to 75% on name-brand clothes…”
= “The savings you can get on name-brand clothes are up to 75%

This is the option I'd go for. Straight to the point.

C. “Get savings of up to 75% off of name-brand clothes…”
= “The savings you can get off of name-brand clothes are up to 75%

…No.

The second sentence is the most correct of your options, since the savings is not off the clothes, it is off the price of the clothes.

The first option may not be logical but it is idiomatic and it's what you usually hear:

OPTION A "Get savings of up to 75% OFF name brand clothes..."

What's happening here is probably linguistic elision, i.e., "[Buy now and] get savings [that amount to] 75% off [the price of] name brand clothes."

In rapid-fire ad-speak, this is normal and universally understood. You'll also hear "on" but "off" is probably the more-common usage.

How about just "Save up to 75% on name-brand clothes..." ? Or is the "Get" really important to you? Or you might use "discounts," as in "get discounts up to 75% on name-brand clothes...". But if it has to be one these choices and it has to be correct, I'd go with A.

Correctness of utterances will vary between listeners. Some utterances would be pretty much universally regarded and incorrect English, and others would be pretty much universally regarded as correct. The fact that you're debating this suggests that these may be somewhere in between.

Personally I'd regard them all as correct, but with a preference for "Get savings of up to 75% on name brand clothes"