Grammar Girl's "needs done" survey

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 7 17:57:44 UTC 2011

Thanks to my countless taxpayer dollars, the audio at the website is crisper
than on my TV. The President does say "need rebuildin'."

But I bet I'm not the only one who heard "need rebuilt."


On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Grammar Girl's "needs done" survey
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9/7/2011 01:16 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:11 PM, Ben Zimmer
> ><bgzimmer at> wrote:
> > > with folksy dropped g
> >
> >You mean "with the standard dropped g of Black English, Southern
> >English, Southwestern English, Western English, etc.," of course.
> >
> >When you make a point of describing Obama's speech as "folksy," here,
> >you make it appear that you think that his use of "dropped g" is
> >unnatural or artificial, that he's merely faking it in order to appear
> >down with the common people or some such thing.
> >
> >OTOH, if you had written "with gutless dropped g," implying an effort
> >on Obama's part not to appear to be too erudite, hence too uppity or
> >too biggity, lest he annoy any Republicans who may have condescended
> >to concern themselves with what he had to say, well, naturally, I'd
> >gladly cosign that.
> How did he pronounce " rebuildin' " when he was at Harvard?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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