Grammar Girl's "needs done" survey

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Sep 7 16:11:52 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> In his speech yesterday, the President of the United States observed that
> much of America's infrastructure "needs rebuilt."
> A Presidential first?

Not sure about that. I think he said "We’ve got roads and bridges
across this country that need rebuildin'." The final syllable (with
folksy dropped g) is quite reduced, so I can see how JL could have
heard it as "rebuilt."

It's at 10:50 in the video:

Official transcript says "need rebuilding":


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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