Date: Mon, 20 Jun 1994 15:49:36 -0400
From: Martha Howard UN106005[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]WVNVAXA.WVNET.EDU
Subject: needs + p.p.
Tim Frazer, I read in PADS about your paper on needs + p.p. That usage
was one that really bothered my husband and me when we moved to WV from
Especially when one principal forwhom I worked (in 1950, WVU had a nepotism
rule which meant that I could not teach at the university since my husband
did. I ended up for six years teaching in ajunior high) told me that my
students" lockers needed cleaned. Then we heard our son remark that his
hair needed washed. After both his parents exploded, much to the poor child's
amazement, it is a wonder he ever washed his hair again. During the teen years
I wasn't sure he did. He always wore a baseball cap! Back to the point. In
trying to figure out where the usage came from, I isolated it (then) to sw
Pa., WV, and areas influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch. In German, the verbe
for need--brauchen--is one that does not take the infinitive after it--it
takes the past participle. Therefore, I decided in my infinite wisdom that
the usage was a transferral of German grammar to
English. How's that for what Marckwardt taught us was "folk" etymology!
Probably no validity to it at all, but it does sound logical, somehow. Wish
I could be in Chicago to hear your paper. Occasionally, I get homesick for the
Midwest, esp. Chicago, where I was born.
email un106005[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]wvnvaxa.wvnet.edu