Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

CHAT: Nonstandard usage (was Natural language change (was Re: Charlie and I))

From:Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 21, 1999, 1:17
----- Original Message -----
From: Sally Caves <scaves@...>
To: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Monday, September 20, 1999 5:31 PM
Subject: Re: THEORY: Natural language change (was Re: Charlie and I)

> And sigh as I will, I think the "lie/lay" distinction is going to be > snuffed out within my lifetime.
I hope so... I always feel like using "lay" as a past tense sounds strange, even though it's the prescribed word, and "lain" sounds downright foreign. I usually use "lay" both as transitive and intransitive, I guess because I always thought "lie down" sounded ultraformal and foppish. On the subject of "It is I," etc., I would say "It is me" or better, "That is me," although my mother insists on saying "This is she." But then she prefers "sneaked" to "snuck" ;O) Re: preterit vs. perfect, I think "did you do your homework" sounds perfectly appropriate, and "have you done your homework" is ok too (but it sounds a bit formal). However, it really annoys me to hear people use the perfect tense where one would usually use the past tense, e.g. there was a commercial where a woman said something like "Tony's been my dentist since I've been a child." AARGH!! :)