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Old 12-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #46
Halo
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Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
"Where do ya'll want to go to eat?"
The correct spelling is y'all as the word is a contraction of you and all.

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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Is this purely done in spoken English, or would you use it in a formal context in written English, too? Just curious as to whether it is regarded as a local "dialect", or has come to be considered grammatically correct English.
It's an informal term, so it's used in spoken English and informal English writing (emails, etc). It's not something that you would see in formal writing unless the author was trying to be folksy. I grew up in the American South so I'm well acquainted with this word.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:22 PM   #47
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With regards to the "couple" question: I think the omission of the the "of" is simply a result of our contraction obsession (with regards to the spoken word)—if we can reduce the number of syllables; we will.

"Couple of apples" -> "couple o' apples" -> "couple-a apples" -> "coupla apples" -> "couple apples." It's a verbal shorthand that has migrated to the written language (and yes, I think it's improper and don't do it myself; but neither am I going to get "up in arms" over it).

Same as the slow corruption of St. Nicholas to Santa Clause. Is it wrong?
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Is this purely done in spoken English, or would you use it in a formal context in written English, too? Just curious as to whether it is regarded as a local "dialect", or has come to be considered grammatically correct English.

I completely agree with you about the evolution of the language, by the way.
Depends on how formal. I would definitely use it in a written conversation. I have used it in formal work emails at my company. I probably wouldn't use it in a formal document because I wouldn't be certain what the audience would be -- with emails, I know who shares my verbal culture, but with documents that can be sent anywhere, I'm less aware of the final audience.

Anecdata: The two "numbered" highways near our house are frequently referred to without articles.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:08 PM   #49
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I credit my fellow citizens of the Southern U.S. with the addition of "ain't" into the dictionary, and I'm serving public notice that we won't stop until "y'all" is taught in English departments worldwide as the proper plural of "you".
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:15 PM   #50
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I credit my fellow citizens of the Southern U.S. with the addition of "ain't" into the dictionary, and I'm serving public notice that we won't stop until "y'all" is taught in English departments worldwide as the proper plural of "you".
Actually, "ain't" has been a part of English for an awfully long time. You get it all over the place in Dickens's dialogue.

In the early part of the 20th century, "ain't" became very "upper-class" in British English. Dorothy L. Sayers' "Lord Peter Wimsey" uses it a lot. Eg:

Quote:
He screwed his monocle into his eye, adding: ‘I see you’re troubled here with the soot blowing in. Beastly nuisance, ain’t it? I get it, too – spoils all my books, you know. Here, don’t you trouble, if you don’t care about lookin’ at it.’

Last edited by HarryT; 12-16-2011 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #51
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No doubt he picked it up from us.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #52
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With Txt Speak now becoming common place in both verbal and written English, will the days of Grammatical correctness disappear altogether in time?

Could the day come when a Professor of English is corrected by a student holding out thier mobile (Cell) phone to prove the correct form?

Will an Android or iPhone App be developed that teaches English Language forcing English teachers into redundancy?
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Is this purely done in spoken English, or would you use it in a formal context in written English, too? Just curious as to whether it is regarded as a local "dialect", or has come to be considered grammatically correct English.

I completely agree with you about the evolution of the language, by the way.

I agree with anamardoll, I see it in written communication all the time, if the piece is informal enough to allow contractions, then y'all can show up. I would never use it in my grad school papers or any other contraction unless I was TRYING for a bad grade.
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:42 AM   #54
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I took a Linguistics course a couple years ago ("The Nature of Language") and during a discussion of how the English language is constantly changing, the question of "couple" versus "couple of" came up. The opinion of most of the students was solidly on the side of "couple" though several older students said it should always be "couple of". The instructor said this was an example of a language change, and that we were able to watch it as it's happening.

I use "couple" most of the time when I'm writing fiction, and it's my editor's opinion that "couple" and "couple of" are interchangeable and that either is correct; he prefers "couple".

Last edited by wcsungod; 12-23-2011 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:33 PM   #55
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Quote:
I use "couple" most of the time when I'm writing fiction, and it's my editor's opinion that "couple" and "couple of" are interchangeable and that either is correct; he prefers "couple".
Bah - y'all just be young whippersnappers
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:16 PM   #56
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Bah - y'all just be young whippersnappers
I've been telling these folks that for years!
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:38 PM   #57
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Couple questions should be reserved for sex ed class, marriage counseling, or railroad yard operations training.

I hope I cleared that up for y'all.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:32 AM   #58
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Late to the party, but here in New Jersey when I buy three or more books at the store I say that I bought "a few books," never "a few of books." In the same sense, when I buy two books I say I bought "a couple books," never "a couple of books."

But I'm not an English major.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:05 AM   #59
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Late to the party, but here in New Jersey when I buy three or more books at the store I say that I bought "a few books," never "a few of books." In the same sense, when I buy two books I say I bought "a couple books," never "a couple of books."

But I'm not an English major.
Nobody would say "a few of books", but "a couple of books" is generally regarded as being the grammatically correct thing to say.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromag View Post
Late to the party, but here in New Jersey when I buy three or more books at the store I say that I bought "a few books," never "a few of books." In the same sense, when I buy two books I say I bought "a couple books," never "a couple of books."

But I'm not an English major.
Do you have a pair of shoes, or a pair shoes?

This reminds of the word "myriad."

"There are myriad choices."
"There are a myriad choices."
"There are a myriad of choices."


ApK
(one-time English major)
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