General Writing and Grammar Help/Short OF or ON ideas

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Question
Dear Ted:

Do you say, "to be or run short OF ideas" or "to be or run short ON ideas"?

In other words, which of the two prepositions should I use after the phrase "to be or run short.....ideas"?

Also, is it possible to "fall short OF or ON ideas"?

Finally, can you suggest other verbs that go with the phrase ".....short OF / ON ideas"?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Do you say, "to be or run short OF ideas" or "to be or run short ON ideas"?

In other words, which of the two prepositions should I use after the phrase "to be or run short.....ideas"?

Also, is it possible to "fall short OF or ON ideas"?

*** Paolo, both of the phrases are used, and they mean the same thing.  I did a Google search to get a count of their usages.  "Short on" retrieved 92,000 hits.  "Short of" returned more than 1.2 million hits.  Although either can be used, my personal preference is "short of ideas."

*** Yes, you can use the verb "fall."

Finally, can you suggest other verbs that go with the phrase ".....short OF / ON ideas"?

*** The most obvious and the most used, by far, is a form of the verb "to be."

EXAMPLES:

I am short of ideas.

John Grisham developed "writer's block."  He found himself to be short of ideas.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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