idiolect

Apr. 7th, 2006 02:27 pm
eruthros: Kate Winslet smiling at the camera (KW promo pic pink)
So I once again caught myself saying "thank you kindly" to the fellow at the Green Line Cafe. Verbal Tics Learned From Television apparently stick around; I mean, I'm not Southern, so I have no excuse at all for this. (Then again, when I was a kid I somehow developed a substitution problem, "briefly" for "shortly" -- I would say "I'll be there briefly" and mean "in a minute" -- so perhaps I shouldn't blame my adverb abuse solely on due South. I worked very hard to expunge that usage of briefly from my vocabulary, but it still happens sometimes.)

Also, I refuse to use either past participle of "to get." Because I ... just don't get it. This is one of those absorbed grammar lessons that just completely fails to take when you read both American and British English as a kid. He's got? He's gotten? Okay, sure, you can tell me that in American English the first means "he possesses" and the second means "he acquired," and that in British English the first means "he possesses" and the second doesn't exist, but frankly a sentence like "they've gotten the check" freaks me out. Except in idiomatic usage that has to take "to get" (like "got married," and even then I'll avoid the probably correct "they've gotten married"), "gotten" doesn't exist in my dialect and "got" appears rarely. Sad but true.

Also, I find myself pondering the usage of "woman" as an adjective. Remember that scene in Gaudy Night, in which Harriet Vane writes a stern letter to a newspaper saying something like "woman students would be seemlier than undergraduettes?" I hit the same usage in one of the first Amanda Cross mystery, c. 1968: Kate Fansler talks about the sudden interest in "woman writers." We certainly still talk about women who write, but I don't think that the phrase "woman writers" would be as likely as "female writers." Is this just my dialect? Or is "woman" as a collective adjective out of fashion? (A quick google picks up several pages, though the text on most of them actually says "women writers." Google informs me that there are 38,000 pages using "wome/an writers" and 232,000 using "female writers.")

Also, I have decided to start using the word "eesome" in casual conversation.

Profile

eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829 3031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 25th, 2017 04:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios