By ANNE DONNELL
Why don't people know the difference between take and bring? It is so easy to use them correctly. This is just the latest "discord" with me. Why can't I stop saying I've got? Don't say it often, but catch these words coming out of my mouth now and then. -Neat Friend from Another County First, why can’t anyone stop saying, “I’ve got”? Because we hear everyone else saying it. Wait, there’s more. (I have been amusing myself too much lately with that bit of advertising doggerel. All that blaring TV is the culprit.)
I decided to look inside an impressive volume (a lovely, plumy shade of red) bought a year or two ago and stacked close to my beleaguered desk. A Dictionary of Modern English by Bryan Garner defends got when used as must (as in I’ve got to leave) as “perfectly idiomatic.” Garner does see a problem with omitting have and saying, as some of us do, “I got to leave.” Perhaps some of you need to avoid lawyer Garner living out in Texas.
And everyone should be allowed a few gotcha’s per year. A few. Less than 10.
I’m not so happy with the trying-to-be-hip I get you, meaning I understand you better than you understand yourself. To those people: go read a book.
So why don’t people sort out take and bring? It seems some authorities back up a no distinction policy, but we’ll stick with the difference which boils down to conveyance and the speaker’s whereabouts.
Bring means have something come to the speaker wherever she or he is. (IMPORTANT LIFESTYLE NOTE: NOT wherever she or he is at)
Take is having something go away from the speaker.
EXAMPLE. When you go to the grocery, buy lemonade mix and cough syrup. Bring me the lemonade mix, and take the cough syrup over to Frankie when you visit later this afternoon.
WHOA! What about, “I’ll take that, if you don’t mind,” a common gangster line in certain kinds of movies. Take here means to get into one’s possession, and we use that in many ways, from playing bridge (take that trick) to military (take that bridge), not really implying conveyance toward or away. OK, argue.
TO REMEMBER WITH FONDNESS THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER. This came accompanied by a photo of a large grill shaped like a revolver. Ask Sigmund Freud why. “Barbeque Rules” (Thanks, S.C.) It is important for you to know the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the grilling the following chain of events are put into motion: • The woman buys the food. • The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert. • The woman sees that the grill is cleaned and the fire started; she then alerts the man who is inside watching TV that it’s time for him to enter the outside theater of cooking. • The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill drinking a cool beverage of his choice. • The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman. • HERE COMES THE IMPORTANT PART: THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL. • The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery. • The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she’ll bring him another cool beverage while he flips the meat. • ANOTHER IMPORTANT PART: The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman. He leaves the cooking utensils on the grill to smolder. • The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, eating utensils, napkins, sauces, and takes them to the table. She goes to the grill and removes the cooking utensils and any empty cans lying on the ground. • When dinner is over the woman clears the table and does the dishes. OK, maybe there’s a dishwasher. • MOST IMPORTANT PART OF ALL: Everyone praises the man for a great dinner, thanking him for all his cooking efforts. • The man then asks the woman how she enjoyed her “night off,” and, noting her annoyed expression, concludes, “There’s just no pleasing some women.”
Here’s some fun for you computer literate types: find Friends of Irony. There a collection of photos remind us that the life around us bears observing and yields amusement, particularly if you’ve a smart aleck turn. And what’s so bad about that?
BW (Bigtime Word) anodyne – pain killer, that which relieves distress, though, nothing salves my agony at “he done” or “he ain’t.” I’m just turned funny I guess.