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Annals of "needs washed"

Grammar Girl (aka Mignon Fogarty) has posted a podcast today about the "needs washed" regionalism, which is mostly associated with the North Midland dialect region of the U.S. Though her goal is to provide prescriptive advice about when it's appropriate to use the "need + V-en" construction, she has conducted some nice data collection from […]

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"Projects we need financed": Pittsburghian?

My Wall Street Journal column this week looks at the history of the word rider, inspired by Frances McDormand's cryptic use of the phrase "inclusion rider" at the end of her acceptance speech at the Oscars on Sunday, after she won the Best Actress award for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. (Link to WSJ column […]

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"Look, the bill needs fixed"

Ohio Gov. John Kasich grew up in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, just down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, and has retained many dialect features from the Pittsburgh region. Notably, Kasich, like others from the area, would say "The car needs washed" rather than "The car needs to be washed" or "The car needs washing." (The Yale […]

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The country needs healed

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 […]

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"You want punched out?"

Today's political buzz is all about the win by Democrat Kathy Hochul in New York's 26th congressional district, encompassing suburbs northeast of Buffalo and west of Rochester. National issues, particularly the debate over Medicare, played a big part in the race, but local factors were key as well, with the Republican candidate, Jane Corwin, losing […]

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The passive in English

Numerous Language Log posts by me, Mark Liberman, and Arnold Zwicky among others have been devoted to mocking people who denigrate the passive without being able to identify it (see this comprehensive list of Language Log posts about the passive). It is clear that some people think The bus blew up is in the passive; […]

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