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August 16, 2012
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Reading this thread I am beginnig to wonder does English grammar matter at all any more? Maybe its my age 'fifty', and maybe modern speak has passed me by in the three decades since I left school, or maybe I am too old school? The previous contributor says "I can't really see what's so wrong with saying 'I was sat' instead of 'I was sitting', he also says "I see no need why TV sports commentators or chat show hosts, for example, should be expected to use formal English" > formal english presumably being "He was sitting".
I am somewhat perplexed and confused by all this to be honest, and I almost feel like joining the "I was sat brigade" but if I did so, it would not only raise eyebrows amongst family and friends, and it would also go against everything I was ever taught, and then what about other 'non standard' English dialects? take parts of London for example where it is quite common to hear "We was sat" instead of "We were sitting", should 'we was' also be an acceptable form of English grammar across the National airwaves? - I say NO.
'He was sitting' is standard English grammar, and 'He was sat' is a non standard form of English, that is unfortunately becoming the norm in formal and non-formal speak in England, and I say "England", because so far, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland seem to be unaffected by 'he was sat/ I was sat'.
He sat on the groundHe stood on the grassHe flew in the aeroplaneHe ran down the road
He sits on the groundHe stands at the cornerHe flys in the aeroplaneHe runs down the road
He was sitting on the groundHe was standing on the grassHe was flying in the aeroplaneHe was running down the road
Above^ are the basics of standard english, as I was taught in school back in the 80s.
He was sat on the groundHe was stood on the grassHe was few in the aeroplaneHe was ran down the road
Above^ is the modern take on this modern "non standard" slang grammar (which I whole heartedly disagree with) . . . . .
As I said in my previous post, this non standard form is now pervading the airwaves, and sadly the standard forms of sitting & standing (in particular) seem to have been consigned to the grammatical dustbin. In generations to come people will look back and discover two words that will no longerlonger be in use in the english language, those words being sitting & standing.
This is a fascinating topic which I have been following for several years now. When I was at school in the 1980s we would have been taught "He was sitting in the seat" or "He was standing there waiting for a bus", but what seems to have happened in recent years is that a form of Northern dialect has taken the upper hand on a country wide basis. Many, if not all BBC presenters and reporters will now say things like "I was stood there in the olympic arena" or "I was sat there in my seat watching the athletics" which to my ears is very bad English (or at least a form of non standard English). I guess that the English language is always evolving, and in the current context we can see before our very eyes/ears the evolution or metamorphosis of the words sitting and standing into the more compact Sat & Stood. It is amusing to note that if I had used this "modern lingo" in school I would have had a grammar book thrown at me (literally) and my english grammar would be marked down, but nowadays it doesn't seem to matter anymore :-( Even the BBC seem to have thrown in the towel with the words Sitting and Standing which have being consigned to the gramattical dustbin of late (olympic coverage being a prime example) with the more snappy and text worthy "He was sat on the bike" and "He was stood at the start line" < this still sounds so wrong to me, and my english teacher would be turning in his grave if he heard what was happening, but my old school views seem seem to be in the minority these days, so I might as well join in - I am sat here at my Laptop as I write this comment.
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