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Regional speech or poor english?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:41 pm Reply with quote
bergen1960
 
Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 4


In Minnesota, people don't "loan" each other things. Instead they "borrow" them to each other, such as "I borrowed my neighbor my lawnmower" or "You want me to borrow you HOW much money!?". Clearly, this is a backward use of the term "borrow". Is this an example of regional speech, or just a poor use of the english language?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:31 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


I am always extremely reluctant to label any dialect or regional variation as "poor" use, since I'm sure the most correct of my English is quite incorrect to a speaker from, say, the UK.

Having said that, I would say that this conflation of the words "loan" and "borrow" is quite similar to a similar phenomenon in German, whereby the words "borgen" and "leihen" can mean both "lend" and "borrow."

I think the influence of German on American English might be strongest in the Wisconsin-Minnesota region. It sounds very strange to me, a speaker from the southeast, to ask someone if they would like to "come with," but to "komm mit" in German means "come along." I hear Minnesotans use "come with" all the time.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:36 pm Reply with quote
bergen1960
 
Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 4


Thanks for the feedback. And, yes, we do say "come with" regularly!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:32 am Reply with quote
katyly
 
Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Minneapolis, MN


This is very interesting to me, because as a transplant to MN, "can you borrow me 5 bucks" just drives me crazy. I never stopped to think that perhaps it had roots in real language, rather than people just being lazy about the grammar they learned in school. But what Dave said about the heritage is very true. My grandmother didn't speak English until she was 6 or so. She went to the Swedish American school in Uppsala, MN. I'm sure that the German communities of New Ulm, etc. had the same experiences and what was entirely proper in German just flowed over. HA!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:54 pm Reply with quote
trainwreck
 
Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Worth


I grew up in Minnesota, and one of the things bugged me was the "drive by."

Not like they have on the coast, but like this:

"We'll drive by the liquor store on the way."

I guess drive by in the rest of the nation means we won't be stopping or else we're going to shoot our guns out the car window.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are different places.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:35 am Reply with quote
benconservato
 
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 14
Location: France


For me it is like in Australia they will use : "we was" instead of "were" in the country sometimes. It drives me crazy, but it is just a funny Australianism.

I've heard that "borrow me" thing too, but perhaps I heard it in a movie.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:37 pm Reply with quote
knitwit
 
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 14


I understand the reluctancy to label dialect as "poor", but members of different social / economic classes do speak differently from one another. We also adopt different modes of speech depending on our setting: work, home, or socializing.

This reminded me of a phrase that's spoken deliberately (at least when I hear it): "that'll learn him (or her)" as opposed to "that'll teach...".
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:12 am Reply with quote
Monika
 
Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Hamburg, Germany


knitwit wrote:
This reminded me of a phrase that's spoken deliberately (at least when I hear it): "that'll learn him (or her)" as opposed to "that'll teach...".

We've a similar thing in german.
lernen = to learn
lehren = to teach
In a lower german setting in northern Germany you'll hear "Das lernt uns ..." (this learns us) instead of "Das lehrt uns ..." (this teaches us ...)
Sometimes I use this as a wake up phrase in class, spoken with a strong northern accent.
In written language you can add leeren = to empty to the mix, lehren and leeren are homophones. Wink

Monika
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:00 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


In Dutch to teach and to learn is the same verb: 'leren'.
So, Dutchmen tend to make a lot of mistakes in both English and German forgetting to teach and lernen.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:06 pm Reply with quote
Blumengarten
 
Joined: 09 Sep 2006
Posts: 32


Living in Massachusetts for a few years, what bothered me was the fact that they would reply in the positive with "so don't I."

For example, "I hate the Yankees." "So don't I."

It just defies my idea of language, replying in the negative to signify the positive!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:53 am Reply with quote
Megamatt
 
Joined: 25 Jun 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Charlotte, NC


Steam would come out of my ears if I heard someone say that....

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Regional speech or poor english?
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