In the latest GOP presidential debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich used a regionalism not often heard in national politics. From the Washington Post transcript:
And as president of the United States, it's all about communication, folks. It's all about getting people to listen to one another's problems. And when you do that, you will be amazed at how much progress you can make, and how much healing we can have. Because, folks, at the end of the day, the country needs healed.
Video from Fox Business (skip to about 2 minutes in):
Kasich was using the "need + V-en" construction, which I discussed in the 2011 post, "Annals of 'needs washed'." The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project says the construction is typical of western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia, and central Indiana. The Pittsburgh region is typically seen as the main locus, and not surprisingly Kasich hails from McKees Rocks in Allegheny County, PA, across the Ohio River from Pittsburgh.
Reactions on Twitter were swift and overwhelmingly negative. Many took note of the construction's regional usage, with Kasich identified as a "yinzer" (after the stereotypical usage of yinz as a second-person plural pronoun in western Pennsylvania).
“The country needs healed” is the most Midwestern phrase I’ve ever heard in a political debate. #GOPdebate
— Cara Lynch (@caradox) January 15, 2016
“needs healed” Kasich is definitely a yinzer.
— Daniel (@MountainHerder) January 15, 2016
John Kasich w/a little midwest (W. Pa/Ohio) slang with "This country needs healed." Bad English but even teachers there don't know its wrong
— Jory Rand (@ABC7Jory) January 15, 2016
John Kasich must live close to the western border of PA because his yinzer accent just came out… "The country needs healed" 😂 #GOPDebate
— Maria Cinquegrani (@maria_618) January 15, 2016
But do feel like I'm back in Central PA when listening to him…"The country needs healed." Sounds like my car needs fixed, too…
— daniel a. smith (@electionsmith) January 15, 2016
Sounds like he's from Pittsburgh > RT @jbendery: I can't believe Kasich so sincerely just said "the country needs healed." Cracking up.
— Bill Labovitz (@wlabovitz) January 15, 2016
— Tim Mulvey (@trmulvey) January 15, 2016
— Jane Stevens (@UWannaGoViral) January 15, 2016