Hot news perfect question

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Nov 17 19:47:59 UTC 2009

It's alternate history, so there is reason to wonder whether the usage
is correct or not.

As far as I can tell, Turtledove does  great job of Elizabethan
English as well as (modern?) Spanish and Latin, so I would think that
he researched the Irish as well.

My guess is that he got the form right, but not the grammar

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 17, 2009, at 7:12 AM, Gordon, Matthew J. wrote:

> I think that "I'm after knowing X" can mean "I've just found out X",
> but I'm no expert. Anyway this interpretation doesn't particularly
> make sense in the context you cite. Is there any reason to believe
> this is an authentic usage and not some "Mock Irish English"? After
> all, the after-perfect is a stereotype of Irish dialects along the
> lines of invariant 'be' for African American English, and the latter
> shows up all the time in grammatically inappropriate (per AAE
> grammar) contexts in made-up samples of African American usage (e.g.
> It be hot today).
> -Matt Gordon
> On 11/16/09 4:24 PM, "Benjamin Barrett" <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM> wrote:
> One page 355 of Harry Turtledove's _Ruled Britannia (Roc, Sept 2003),
> a novel of alternate history, he uses the form of the hot news
> perfect:
> -----
> "I'm for the Theatre," Shakespeare answered [in the morning].
> "Faith, are you indeed?" the [Irish guard] said. "Riddle my why, then.
> I'm **after knowing** these plays run of afternoons."
> "In sooth, they do," Shakespeare agreed.
> -----
> The Wikipedia page on Hiberno-English (
> ) says that the hot news perfect is used as the pluperfect.
> Here the meaning is "To my knowledge, these plays run in the
> afternoon" or perhaps "As I have known, these plays run in the
> afternoon" which seems at odds with the Wikipedia explanation.
> Is there something else going on here?
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA

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