[Ads-l] "were pick'n up"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 1 22:48:18 UTC 2015

On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 3:54 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> > A number of -(e)n
> > participles are partially or fully retained in adjectival
> > use--boughten loaves, spitten images, [new-]mown lawns, graven
> > images, [clean-]shaven faces, [mis]shapen bodies, [un]proven
> > allegations--after they've completely or, as with "proven" largely,
> > fallen out of use as verbal past/passive participles.

John Sebastian's "_new-mowed_ lawn" has annoyed me for dekkids. OTOH, since
I was specifically taught - in high school, where I learned The Man's
English - that _proven_, still alive and kicken ;-) in StL, was
"incorrect," I'm always surprised, when I find it still used in literature
and dialogue, after all these years.

To clarify: in high school, it wasn't that teachers corrected *me*,
specifically. Rather, it was "in the book" (does anybody else recall the
'50's-ish "novelty" record, "It's In The Book," parodying a hill-billy
preacher?) and taught to *all* of us. "Get 'em young and train 'em."
Nowadays, of course, we'd recognize that "rule of English grammar" as
totally-arbitrary BS.

The written language isn't always more conservative than the spoken

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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