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"got to" and again on the breaststroke joke

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 14, 2004

In Reply to: "Got to" and again on the breaststroke joke posted by sphinx on March 14, 2004

: : : : : Here are 2 passages in which the phrase "got to" is used. What does "get" mean exactly here? Colloquial? Any frequently-used exmaples?

: : : : : 1.DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: You got to remember if Washington, D.C. were the size of Baghdad, we would be having something like 215 murders a month, and it is -- there's going to be violence in a big city. It's 5.5 million people. For the most part, it's in that area I described. That's where the active -- and it tends not to be at this stage random killings.

: : : : : 2."It's hard to control the release of a book," says Pat Yzerman, a vice president at Scribner, which published Meili's book. "If you were to count the number of hands that a book passes through from production to the date of release, it's got to be around 5,000."

: : : : : And forgive me for being late on the breaststroke joke. What does that woman mean exactly by saying "I don't want to sound like I'm a sore loser"? Did she used his arms?

: : : : 1. COlloquial English phrases that seem second-nature to native speakers are sometimes tricky and perhaps poorly explained in dictionaries. You might expect "I've got" to mean "I have obtained," although it more often means just "I have." "I've gotten" can mean "I have obtained" or "I have become." "I got" is the past of "I get," which means "I obtain" or "I become." But "I get it" means I have managed to figure it out (it being perhaps a joke or a conundrum). "I've got to [some verb]" means "I must" or "I have to." ("I gotta go" means I must leave.") I've got over it" means it no longer bothers me, or I'm no longer ill with it. "I got away" means I succeeded in leaving, but "I got away with it" means I didn't get caught or found out or punished. "I got down on my knees" means I genuflected, or perhaps I just put my knees on the ground (or floor) and perhaps groveled, or perhaps asked for milady's hand in marriage. "Gotcha" can mean I caught you, or I tricked you (perhaps into biting into my joke). No doubt there are a dozen other meanings of got or get that don't come immediately to my mind.
: : : : 2. I hesitate to explain any joke, particularly a naughty one, but the blonde was behind the others because she swam the breaststroke, of course, using only her breasts, while the others plainly cheated by using their arms. Being blonde, she had no way of knowing that the breaststroke does not require one to stroke one's way through the water using only one's breasts. Who would have guessed? SS
: : :
: : : Well, not genuflected, of course, but actually prayed, by placing both knees and toes on the ground and resting the body on these supports. SS

: : Actually, Sphinx, if you wish to improve your English you ought not to be reading atrocious specimens by the likes of Donald Rumsfeld (or his boss). You'd do better to learn songs, like this one from Merry Olde Englande: I'VE GOT sixpence, jolly, jolly sixpence. I'VE GOT sixpence to last me all my life. I'VE GOT tuppence to spend, and tuppence to lend, and tuppence to send home to my wife, dear wife! No cares have I, be-lie---ve me, no pretty little wife to de-cei--ve me-e-e, Happy is the day when the old man is away, and we go rolling, rolling home! SS

: But what about "it's got to be around 5,000"?

Rumsfeld: You got to remember (sic); Yzerman: It's got to be.... Both are covered under "I've got to [verb]." You MUST remember,,, ; It MUST be... . Or; ;You have to remember..., It has to be... Other gots/gets: He got religion. He got down and dirty. He got it all down in his notebook. Got milk? She got pinned by her boyfriend. (There's an antique.) Then she got pinned under the car. And got her dress dirty. But she soon got to talk to her lawyer. Have you got game? I hope you can all get along together. Get along little dogie, get along. I didn't want to get with him in the first place. Get yourself on home, boy! OK, let's get going! Aren't you getting a bit snobbish? Get off me, you oaf, get away from me. As for the song, substitute: Happy is the day when the old man gets his pay, As we go rolling, rolling home. SS