prescriptivism, conventions, irony, and could(n't) care less
maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Wed Jan 31 14:48:34 UTC 2001
> As to "Ya done good," there is a long history in English of
> adjectives and adverbs having the same form. This is clearly true
> today of "fast"
> Don't walk so fast.
> where "fastly" doesn't even exist, but it's also true of "slow".
> The difference is that prescriptivists will insist on "Walk
> slowly", not "walk slow". There is no historical basis for their
> judgment. Could it be that "good" is going the way of "fast"
I don't think that's what's happening in "ya done good." It's a
set phrase, intentionally "wrong," used in informal settings. Sort
of like the French use of "beaucoup, beaucoup" -- use by a French
person, that is -- a foreigner who said "beaucoup, beaucoup" would
sound simply wrong.
--Natalie Maynor (maynor at ra.msstate.edu)
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