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"I was sat" is incorrect!

(100 Posts)
forshitsandgiggles Tue 10-Apr-12 02:23:40

Does anyone else want to scream/throw things upon hearing the increasingly common misuse of the past participle? It has become the norm for people to say "he was SAT over there..." when it should be "he was sitting over there" or "we were led down" no, you were "lying down", you daft muppets.

Sorry to rant but I'm sick of hearing this and wonder if it bothers anybody else? I always use a particular example to illustrate this point. You would always say "I was swimming" and not "I was swam", as the latter sounds, frankly, ridiculous.

CurrySpice Tue 10-Apr-12 17:18:20

nickelhasababy if my DP corrected my grammar like that I would really roll my eyes, I think it's really rude tbh and you knew just what he meant in an everyday, casual conversation between people who know each other well. Unclench!

"I was sat" seems more common up north

ZZZenAgain Tue 10-Apr-12 17:39:45

I think it has become quite common now and although I don't see how it can be grammatically correct (happy to be corrected though), I think it is so widespread that it isn't something that bothers me. Maybe it is originally dialect usage and has just spread beyond the region where it is normally used.

GilbertandGeorge Tue 10-Apr-12 19:41:31

I agree.

And the other thing annoying me on MN at the moment - gotten. confused

jimswifein1964 Tue 10-Apr-12 19:46:39

Nothing is as bad on mn as 'I brought it form the shop...'

jimswifein1964 Tue 10-Apr-12 19:47:30

*from - typing in hurry before bath overflows blush and hence the poor strucure too blush

DaisySteiner Tue 10-Apr-12 19:49:29

Que for cue (or queue for that matter) makes my eyes bleed.

Mrskbpw Tue 10-Apr-12 20:49:00

Weirdly, I quite like gotten. It makes sense to me and I think we used to say it, didn't we (still do in Scotland?) before it evolved out of spoken English. Got sounds too short to me...

jkklpu Tue 10-Apr-12 21:04:17

I like gotten, too - an archaism still used int he US, with the bonus that it also reminds me of The West Wing, just like "oftentimes"

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 10:47:02

Curry - i have to. think of the children shock

I live in an area of the world where correct english swept past without touching the side. sad

CurrySpice Wed 11-Apr-12 13:42:20

I know what you mean. I hate the local vernacular where I live sad

And I correct my own children all the time. Because I am their mother.

But I would not correct my partner. because I am not his mother

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 13:50:48

the reason i am starting to correct his grammar is not because of him, but because of DD.
/i don't want her to grow up speaking incorrectly, and if he does it, then she'll pick it up.
i thought if i got him into the habit now, by the time she's starting to speak, he'll be used to speaking mostly correctly.

I know it's awful to correct ones own partner, but i just can't bear the idea of my dd thinking it's correct to say "i done vat" when she meant " i have done that"
as ore people outside the home speak badly if both parents speak properly, then there's chance she'll get it right too.

it wouldn't be so important, i think, if i had a southern accent, because i'd hold more away, but i say bath and grass, which is already different to everyone else, so why should she accept "th" and tenses from me, either?

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 13:51:01

sway not away.

habbibu Wed 11-Apr-12 13:59:28

"> Is grammar descriptive, or prescriptive?

Prescriptive, handmadetail. Linguistics is the descriptive one."

No, you can and do have descriptive grammars. What you think of as Standard English grammar was a description which then became codified to an extent. But grammar does change, albeit slowly.

Dialects have their own grammars, internally consistent, and just as old (or older) than that of Standard English. So "I was sat" isn't ungrmmatical per se, it's just not Standard English. And outside of formal situations, there's no absolute necessity to always speak or write standard English.

PimpMyTunnel Wed 11-Apr-12 14:04:26

It really doesn't bother me. It doesnt make anyone better because they pronounced a word correctly confused

CurrySpice Wed 11-Apr-12 14:04:33

Nickels, if you think correcting your partner will make any difference to how he speaks, let alone how your DD speaks, then do so. Personally, if I were him I would feel mightily patronised.

My exH speaks with the local accent and grammar horrors of where we live in Essex. I speak with a Black Country accent (not very broad but discernible) and our kids speak really nicely, but nothing like either of us. I correct them all the time ("We was" being a major bugbear) but I wouldn't correct an adult because, well, they're an adult and can speak how they damn well please and I think it's really rude tbh

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 14:12:20


he takes it in good heart (i don't do it all the time!! mainly it's the "done" and "you was" blush)

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 14:13:57

but that's it, isn't it?
he wasn't corrected as a child!

and i have a junior chorister who doesn't pronounce the "th", and that came from his teachers! sad

CurrySpice Wed 11-Apr-12 14:18:12

Well if he doesn't mind, go ahead. Just saying that I would mind

And I think you're too late to correct him now...concentrate on your DD!

Sorry if I sounded chippy. I didn't want to make you go sad

habbibu Wed 11-Apr-12 14:18:56

I'm not sure it's so much correcting children as modelling language, iyswim. I seem to remember reading research that said that the correcting itself made little difference, whereas the overall exposure to language influenced child language acquisition. But it was ages ago. For an adult it would be like learning a foreign language, in a way, and harder than for children.

CurrySpice Wed 11-Apr-12 14:24:06

And so once they go to school....

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 14:25:14

thanks Curry.
i do know what you mean, but the very idea of DD growing up speaking like those round here gives me cold sweats.
I didn't know they sounded like this before i moved here, and i fell in love with DH, so I can't really leave wink

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 14:25:47

habbibu ta. <<sobsobsob>>

habbibu Wed 11-Apr-12 14:26:51

Well, that's interesting, isn't it? I'm pretty sure school has a fairly strong influence on accent, but if a pre-school child has a lot of exposure to language from birth, I wonder if that is retained, so that even if they pick up stuff in school, they become "bi-dialectal" or something.

My grammar has become quite Scottish over the years...

nickelhasababy Wed 11-Apr-12 14:27:02

but yeah, you're right, it's immersion (hence me wanting DH to speak correctly around her)
there's nothing i can do.
(public school maybe?)

habbibu Wed 11-Apr-12 14:28:50

Oh, sorry, nickel - what I actually meant was that you'll be influencing her simply by how you speak, as one of her main linguistic influences, and that maybe correction isn't so important. If she's modelling both you and DH, then she may grow up with two dialects that she can switch between, iyswim.

Sorry - I did phrase that thoughtlessly.

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