Make/take a left/right, etc.

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Oct 2 15:15:21 UTC 2002

Since my (poorly-felt) introspection gives me the opposite
inclination for "formality" ("make" seems more casual), I stick to my
anti-introspective guns (never, of course, denying the folk
linguistic value of what people "feel" to be the case).


>I have both, and introspection fails about the selectivity device
>selecting or preferring one or the other. (Good thing; otherwise us
>quantitatively-oriented sociolinguists wouldn't have squat to do).
I also have both, but feel that selection is a matter of register: depends
on whom I'm talking to.  "Take" feels just slightly more hip; "make," more
formal.  If giving directions to a stranger, might also say "make" to a
woman, "take," to a man.
A. Murie

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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