Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 08:06:32 -0600


Subject: Re: need + participle

Anton Sherwood reports:

My parents (natives of Indiana) reported hearing "the car needs washed"

when they moved from Illinois to Pittsburgh.

and Cathy Bodin asks:

Does anyone have an idea of the geographical extension of this phrase,

i.e. "this needs washed" instead of "this needs being washed" or "it

needs a washing?"

Is it limited to Pennsylvania?

I had claimed in my original posting that one of the three people I know

who use the construction consistently is from Salt Lake City. I remember

now that he's actually originally from Pennsylvania (western, I think--but

I'm not certain), so that makes three Pennsylvania sources so far. Is

it very widespread there?

Also, we already have reports of two sources in Ohio, plus I received E-mail

from someone stating that his mother from Akron used the "needs washed"

construction (his father, from Stowe, OH, used the "needs washing"

construction). So that makes three sources in Ohio so far, two of

which are from Akron.

Am I to assume from this that this is a fairly common construction between

Akron and Pittsburgh? Is it the norm?

Also, if there's anyone out there from Montana, is it also used there with

any regularity? Or is it just a quirk in my friend's case?

Incidentally, Cathy, I'm unfamiliar with the "this needs being washed"

construction. It's not a part of my dialect. I always use the infinitive

(i.e. "this needs to be washed"). And "it needs a washing" is something I

hear at times, but it's not productive for me.

--Bruce Gelder