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July 15, 2020
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This is an old thread but I have always wanted to discuss this subject. My father, who is from New Jersey, uses this constantly and it has always driven me crazy. I don't think, however, that it is "I says" - this is obviously, even to my father, an incorrect conjugation. I think it should be written "I sez". There is, in fact, a noticeable difference of prononciation. In my opinion, it is a dialectical word added to English to compensate for a lack of a precise past imperfect tense in English. It exists in French - je disais = I sez. Proper English, "I was saying" is clumsy and imprecise. It still grates on my ear, it is not a written form, but I believe it cannot be considered bad English. It might merit passing into English since there does seem to be a need for it, but it should not be written "says".
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