Grammar Girl's "needs done" survey

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Sep 7 16:18:13 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:11 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> 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":

Interestingly, though, the Wall Street Journal heard it as "need to be
rebuilt." Hmmm.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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