prescriptivism, conventions, irony, and could(n't) care less

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Wed Jan 31 14:48:34 UTC 2001

Herb wrote:
> 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"
> slow?

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list