Talk:Non-standard English

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I'm not sure that some of these might not be better under British and American English.--Bob M 16:17, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Now I think about it "got" is a big difference between the two languages anyway. Then there is the question of whether you should or should not write got forms and the "gonna" type things - which is really register again.--Bob M 16:22, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Sure - but don't see why they can't also be included under non-standard Eng.--Technopat 17:47, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I think it needs a bit of clarity. If somebody were to say. "Hey look at the time - gotta go!" I don't think that anybody would raise an eyebrow. But if they were to write "gotta" in a formal document it would be misused - so it's register. On the other hand if somebody were to say "We was told you was here" then an educated native speaker would say that was non-standard under any circumstances. The first is simply a question of register - the other in non-standard.--Bob M 17:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the compact Oxford is simply wrong on "gotten" when it states that "even there (The US) it is often regarded as non-standard" D Crystal in his encyclopaedia says: (Page 311 of my edition)
  • "Gotten is probably the most distinctive of all the AmE/BrE grammatical differences, but British people who try to use it often get it wrong. It is not simply an alternative for have got. Gotten is used in such contexts as They've gotten a new boat. (= obtain) They've gotten interested. (= become) He's gotten off the chair.(= moved) But it is not used in the sense of possession (= have). AmE does not allow *I've gotten the answer. or *I've gotten plenty. but uses I've got as in informal BrE. The availability of gotten does however mean that AmE can make such distinctions as the following: They've got to leave (they must leave) vs They've gotten to leave (they've managed to leave)."
All of which suggests that it's a fully fledged and accepted grammatical structure. I also remember an American friend of mine telling me that his English professor used to tell him about the correct and incorrect places to use "gotten".--Bob M 18:34, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Fine by me - when you reach my age quibbling over "correct" anything loses its interest. :)--Technopat 19:35, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
OK - but um - which of the above comments are fine by you? All of them? And, just to quibble, I don't think I was quibbling.--Bob M 20:03, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Here's the message I tried to leave: Just came across this, and your last comment. I wasn't referring to you quibbling - I meant the 'correct and incorrect places to use "gotten"'. My experience is that language pundits - the kind that [used to?] write in to the The Times 'bout how the country was going to the dogs 'cos of the use of split infinitives, for instance - are actually very often wrong. Cheers! --Technopat 10:56, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Sure, and I agree. All living languages are always "going to the dogs" according to people who remember earlier forms and can't stand modern usages.--Bob M 11:43, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Stop me if you've heard this one before, but I always tell the one about my Grandmother, who'd been an enlightened English teacher at one of those progessive "experimental" schools in the 1920s/30s freaking out when I told her that I taught me students contractions... --Technopat 15:51, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

These are some words[edit]

This is a test.--Bob M 10:05, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

And a fantastic test it was Bob.--Bob M 08:19, 12 October 2012 (CDT)

Wrong template[edit]

I'm looking at this and wondering if it needs the judicious use of the "wrong" template. It's pretty clear from the context that the stuff we are talking about is "non-standard".--Bob M 08:19, 12 October 2012 (CDT)

The fact that it's non-standard doesn't necessarily mean it's "wrong". Most regional accents and many locally used words come under the term non-standard, but they cannot be classed as "wrong". If anything, I'd propose a new template for "non-standard use" but not sure that it's really necessary. --Technopat 09:48, 12 October 2012 (CDT)
Yes, I was just looking for a place to our pretty new template. :-) But on a different point I would maintain that "non-standard" and "wrong" are dependent on context.
The thing we teach - "standard English" - is a polite fiction maintained by the English teaching world. It's the average of all the usages in, for example, British English. We all diverge to a greater or lesser extent from this idealised standard.
But when we are explaining things to our students (at least until quite high levels) they do not want a percentage-based analysis of who says what. They want to be told that they should not say "We was robbed." In simple terms that it is "wrong".
Of course in terms of linguistic analysis it's simply non-standard. Indeed, in terms of linguistic analysis anything odd said (or written) by a native speaker is "non-standard" rather than "wrong".
But in terms of the template I agree that it shouldn't be used on this page.--Bob M 12:02, 12 October 2012 (CDT)
Thinking about it some more I guess that we can contrast "We was robbed" with "*I want that him do it." The second being very clearly "wrong" and something which would never be said by a native speaker.
Yep Yes. :) --Technopat 12:39, 12 October 2012 (CDT)


I seem to spend a lot of time arguing on this page. So be it. Under "slang" we have things such as: "C’mon! = Come on!", "dunno = don't know" and "gimme = give me". I would argue that these are simply contractions which occur naturally in the course of fluent native speech.

We can easily think of lots more. Almost anything with "to" for example: Who would we naturally say "Have to", "want to" "got to" "need to"? In all cases the "to" is going to be weak and in some cases, and in some accents, something like a new word is formed. But I wouldn't call this slang.--Bob M 11:07, 2 December 2012 (CST)

C’mon! Gimme a break! :) --Technopat 11:16, 2 December 2012 (CST)