Friday, August 22, 2014

got/gotten: The Weekend Edition—Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday–Sunday, August 22–24, 2014

In the UK, the old word “gotten” dropped out of use except in such stock phrases as “ill-gotten” and “gotten up,” but in the US it is frequently used as the past participle of “get.” Sometimes the two are interchangeable; however, “got” implies current possession, as in “I’ve got just five dollars to buy my dinner with.” “Gotten,” in contrast, often implies the process of getting hold of something: “I’ve gotten five dollars for cleaning out Mrs. Quimby’s shed,” emphasizing the earning of the money rather than its possession. Phrases that involve some sort of process usually involve “gotten”: “My grades have gotten better since I moved out of the fraternity.” When you have to leave, you’ve got to go. If you say you’ve “gotten to go” you’re implying someone gave you permission to go.

It looks like "chomp" has gotten the best of "champ," according to Paul Brians' latest blog post.

The Week's End Extra from the Archives: "Literally comical" (August 22, 2013).

1 comment:

  1. I consider the use of the word "got" bad grammar. There is always a better way to say what you want without using "got". For instance, "I have just five dollars to buy my dinner with." or "I received five dollars for cleaning out Mrs. Quimby's shed." The word should be dropped from the English language.