[Ads-l] Someone philosophically asks:

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 21 00:17:47 EST 2016


"Am I finished or am I done?"

I have no answer, because I'm _through_.

When I lived west of the Mississippi, "I'm _done_ was so rarely heard as to
seem, at best, déclassé, if not actually "ignorant," as colored people say.
Now that I live in the East, "I'm _through_" is so vanishingly rare that,
if I'd never lived in the West, it's probable that I wouldn't even be aware
of the existence of "I'm _through_," were I not a fan of Seth "The Family
Guy" MacFarlane, an "I'm _through_" speaker who was born in Connecticut and
went to college in Rhode Island.

People who use _done_ can pretty much ignore _through_, except when it's a
preposition: "through the window." But we who use _through_ have to resort
to _done_ in cases of no consequence to those who use _done_.

"I'll be done in about an hour"

and

"The turkey will be done in about an hour"

and

"The turkey will be done cooking in about an hour."

"I'll be through in about an hour"

but not

"The turkey will be through in about an hour"

but

"The turkey will be through cooking in about an hour."

-- 
-Wilson
-----
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

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


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