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Whatever happened to 'to be'?

(23 Posts)
LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 15:38:44

I keep reading things like "the baby needed picked up". Loads of variations on this weird loss of the words 'to be' (but I can't think of any other actual examples right now. Why is this? Is it just laziness? American English? I'm irritated confused.

Booyhoo Sat 19-Jan-13 15:42:18

is it regional?

i'm in NI and it would be quite normal in my part of the land to say "the baby needs picked up" dropping the 'to be'. it's not a conscious thing, it's just natural for us to speak like this.

SPBInDisguise Sat 19-Jan-13 15:43:02

I've noticed "am" being used instead of "was" a fair amount, not sure why

Jojobump1986 Sat 19-Jan-13 15:44:09

Clearly 'to be' was 'not to be'! grin Sorry, couldn't resist!

NotGeoffVader Sat 19-Jan-13 15:44:38

I've not noticed that one disappearing. I'm still twitchy about "like" as in -
"It's like I've just walked out of the salon" rather than "It's as though I've just walked out of the salon".

And don't get me started on the pinterest-speak of "Totally addicting"

<exits with steam pouring from ears>

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 15:45:54

Explanation of the verb to need here.

I think the example you give is fine - it's perfectly clear.

janek Sat 19-Jan-13 15:48:19

I think it could be an irish thing, dp and dmil both do it. Agree it sounds wrong, but i guess if it's a dialect it's okay...

Booyhoo Sat 19-Jan-13 15:49:42

SPB can you give an example of 'am' instead of 'was'? i'm struggling to understand that one.

SPBInDisguise Sat 19-Jan-13 15:52:58

The only example I can think of is from sex and the city
"I've been giving blow jobs since I'm twelve"
I've noticed it a few other times, but can't think of the specifics

LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 15:56:34

No, though, Euphemia, it still doesn't fit any of the grammar rules.

If it's a regional thing, fair enough. Still wrong though.

LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 15:57:45

"the baby needed picking up" would be fine here, a conditional past tense of sorts, but "the baby needed picked up" isn't anything. confused

LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 15:58:39

Conditional pluperfect maybe?

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 16:00:05

Well I'm Scottish and I would never say something needed picking up, or needed washing, or whatever - that sounds very English to me. smile

I would say something needed picked up or needed washed, so I think it must be a dialectal variation.

Booyhoo Sat 19-Jan-13 16:00:11

ah, i've never heard that SPB. it is odd.

nickelbabe Sat 19-Jan-13 16:01:34

i don't like "baby needed picking up" either.

everyone has started saying "needing doing"
or similar instead of to do.

it's a pandemic.

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 16:02:35

What I find odd is MIL's use of "can" instead of "be able to", for example "You'll not can go if it's snowing," or "You'll not can get that on if it's too small." Weird! Still clear what she means, though! smile

LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 16:02:37

Oh really? So it is a regional thing.

Votes please:

Your region:
Do you say: The baby needs to be picked up, the baby needs picking up, or the baby needs picked up?

Thanks smile

SweetestThing Sat 19-Jan-13 16:03:45

Agree with Euphemia - this is a construction we use in Scotland (and possibly in NI too?). Something needs done, not doing. Or cleaned, not cleaning.

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 16:05:20

East of Scotland: the baby needs picked up, if it was now that s/he required this service. If I was making arrangements for a future time or date, I would say the baby needs to be picked up at 4 o'clock, or whatever.

HTH! grin

LoopsInHoops Sat 19-Jan-13 16:17:12

Not 'the baby will need to be picked up at 4'?

bigkidsdidit Sat 19-Jan-13 16:28:25

That's the normal use in scotland

SPBInDisguise Sat 19-Jan-13 17:39:21

Loops, the first one to be correct, the second would be lazier but I would still say it, the third sounds totally wrong to me. It needs corrected. grin

LoopsInHoops Sun 20-Jan-13 01:07:38

I agree with you SPB. Are you English?

Sorted. it's a Scottish/NI thing. Thanks all. smile

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