Monday, September 30, 2013

Got damn it! "Got" has got to be used less often.

"Got" is a short word. It doesn't take up much space or require much typing, but it usually adds NOTHING when combined with "have," "has" or "ve." (Sometimes the "have," "has" or "ve" is merely implied, not said.)

Sometimes, "got" is perfect English, but it seems to be imperfect more often.

The sloppy "got" is pervasive. It has invaded
music, television, movies, advertising, government, food, clothing -- even religion. "Got" often makes the speaker or writer seem like a semi-literate hillbilly, ghetto-dweller or recent immigrant.

Think carefully before you use "got."

Does it add anything important to the following?

I've got to go.
You've got a friend in Pennsylvania.
I've got your six.
America has got your six
I've got you, babe.
You've got me.
You got me.
I got it. 
He got game.
America's got talent.
She's got what it takes.

As sloppy English becomes more widespread, it seems normal and acceptable. That's a shame.

From "In the military, 'Got your six' means 'I’ve got your back.' The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing a pilot’s rear as the six o’clock position. It is now a ubiquitous term in the military that highlights the loyalty and cooperation found in military culture. Inspired by this sentiment, the Got Your 6 campaign creates opportunities for veterans and civilians to join together to reinvigorate our communities. The Got Your 6 campaign embodies the values of duty, selfless service, and mutual respect upheld by those who have served in our military."

That's wonderful, but it's sloppy English, and it's unnecessarily sloppy.

(below) Sadly, even a book for prospective teachers got it wrong.

(below) But some farmers got it right. HURRAY!

Here's a good explanation of "got" v. "have" from Grammar Diva Arlene Miller
Here's a defense of "got" from Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty.

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