Mark A Mandel
mam at THEWORLD.COM
Thu Apr 4 15:43:45 UTC 2002
On Thu, 4 Apr 2002, Catherine Jagoe wrote:
# The publisher has insisted on standardizing not only most of the
#language itself but also argues that the use of I says is
#inappropriate because it sounds like London Cockney dialect, which
#would be inappropriate for a Buenos Aires resident from the 1970s. Im
#convinced that I says is not limited to Cockney, and that Ive heard
#it used widely both in the UK and the USA, but I have no documentation
#on that and no idea of how to go about researching it.
#Can anyone tell me about the distribution and usage of I says? Are
#there any other similar expressions that might accompany this usage?
"I says" is very common in US English in informal narration. A made-up
"So he says to me, 'How do you know he did it?', and I says, 'I was
there. I *saw* him do it!'"
Of course, here "says" also replaces the higher-register "said" in the
third person as well as the first.
It suggests an uneducated speaker, although IMHO it's so well
established in this register that a person who would never use it in
more formal circumstances might use it comfortably in the right
-- Mark A. Mandel, Ph.D., d/b/a Dr. Whom
editing, proofreading, and linguistic consultation
More information about the Ads-l