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I done...

Posted by Pamela on June 18, 2007

In Reply to: I done... posted by Smokey Stover on June 14, 2007

: : : : : : : : : 'I done' and 'I seen' and 'I have went'. These are all in common use in parts of central Scotland, especially Glasgow. I wonder if this is just 'bad English' or is there any evidence of a 'legitimate' origin?

: : : : : : : : Central Scotland, eh? Watch any American television show which is all or partly unscripted and you'll find this is still the language of hoi polloi. Legitimate? According to modern linguistic doctrine, anything uttered by anyone is "legitimate." But that's a snide answer to your legitimate qustion, to which I can't give a useful answer.
: : : : : : : : SS

: : : : : : : Especially, in the United States, witnesses to a crime who are being interviewed for TV news: "I done seen it."

: : : : : : Would you like to see "Gone with the Wind"? No, I done went and seen it already.

: : : : : :"I done/seen [it]" are ligit.dialectic[OED passim];"I have went" is just plain wrong.I have always thought "I done seen it" was a parody of bad English,even on USA programmes "I seen it" seems prevalent.

: : : : Possibly constructions like "I done went and seen it already" are dialect ways of adding emphasis? CF southern English "been and gone and", as in: Whatever have you been and gone and done now? (VSD)

: : : Since I've never learned a second language, life presents me with few opportunities to claim that I'm bilingual, so when I get the chance ... Ah blost a wee. I was very pleased (deid chuffed) to discover as an adult that some linguists consider Lallans (Scots) to be a distinct language and that the "bad English" and "wierd accent" that my family all had on arrival to Australia (and that I deliberately lost as quickly as I could) qualifies me (in some obscure quarters) as bilingual. So, "I done" (A or Ah duin) is good Scots, "I have went" is something I've never read or heard (that means almost nothing) although it may be standard English influenced by the Scots "A/Ah goed" for I went). "A see'd" or "A seen" are both fine for "I saw". I think there is a rule for this - I have a Lallans grammar book at home, so I'll look it up. Problem is, of course, that the only people who tend to speak this way(apart from the linguists who run the Scottish language society are the badly educated Scots who don't "upgrade" themselves by learning the "good English" they are taught at school; so the "bad English" tag, then, depends on your point of veiw. My point of view, as I've said, is influenced by the fact that I quite fancy being bilingual without ever having to learn or study anything. Pamela

: : OK, it would be best to ask someone who knows the difference between a weak verb and a strong verb, and who didn't need to look up "past participle", but ... could it be that strong verbs take the past participle instead of the past tense? If not, then blame me and not D. Purves "A Scots Grammar", 1997 Saltire Society. Pamela

: I've never heard that strong verbs take the past participle instead of the past tense. What I do know is that many verbs are sometimes treated as strong verbs by people who don't know that the rest of the population treats them as weak verbs. I noticed recently that President Bush claimed that he (or perhaps his opponents) "drug" something in, or into the conversation. There are plenty of verbs that waver, so to speak. He dove into the water / He dived into the water. And drug me with him.
: SS

Smokey, I meant that in Scots it could be a rule. But if Bush is going by it then I won't persue the issue. Pamela