debate on "you did good"
flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Wed Aug 15 04:53:10 UTC 2001
At 08:04 PM 8/14/01 +0800, you wrote:
>My own recollection (as I think I mentioned when we did have that
>debate on ads-l) was that there must be a dialect-borrowing source
>here because the expression frequently used (including in a certain
>radio commercial for an insurance company) is "You done good", where
>the preterit is clearly non-standard, and where the meaning is not
>the "good" of "Doing well by doing good", i.e. good deeds of the kind
>a do-gooder does, but of doing a job "good", i.e. (in the standard
>dialect) doing it well.
Yes, I think that's right, and I suggested as much in my first response to
the Childes people. I suspect the 'done' has been changed to 'did' to make
the idiom more acceptable, as it clearly is now. The "I'm good" reply in
the greeting adjacency pair is a bit more recent, isn't it? "I'm well"
never sounded right anyway, since the question isn't about health but is
about "feeling good" (James Brown had it right).
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