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Or.... I was raised by an anal English major.

Mom honestly believed this. 'Get' was classified as slang, and not allowed in our vocabulary as children. If the offending word was uttered, Mom would have us come up with an alternate way to compose the sentence, working hard to be sure this horrible slang didn't pollute our sentence structure! Through the years it has become habit, and I find I rarely use the word 'get'. I can replace it in almost every usage, and do. Not conciously, mind you, but years of conditioning have paid off for Mom. Makes my speech sound kind of pompous, but I bet Mom would be glad of that.

"Please get me a glass of water." becomes "Please bring me a glass of water."
"I need to get a new car." becomes "I need to buy a new car."
"I don't get it." becomes "I don't understand."
"I've got to go to the bathroom." "I have to go to the bathroom."
And so on.

I've found only one instance where you really have to use the word 'get'. Thank the gods for James Brown...... and Get Down! Wooo!

The problem with this thinking is that words are not merely to express an idea, but to provide a range to flavour your expression. While it is probably true that "get" is not needed, as displayed in the examples above, to reduce the English language to its complete and most efficient form would endanger the ability to express one's thought.

George Orwell prophecied this sort of thing in the book 1984. His language, Newspeak, was a completely efficient language, in which needless words were ripped out, and replaced. Good was good, while excellent became double-good.

This may seem like a good idea, in that the language will begin to become more efficient, but in fact what this ends up doing is effectively reducing the range of one's conscious thought. If steps are taken to eliminate words, then the ability to express an idea is threatened. One could attempt to erase the word Nazi from the language, but we are now unable to give our children an example of the danger of racism.

Slang is our friend in that it provides us with an ever-growing pool of words that we can use to properly express ourselves.

"Get" can mean many things (e.g. "bring," "buy," and "understand," none of which are synonyms), and thus it is a weak, undescriptive word.

Try telling someone to "get something." You will see that that sentence has no meaning whatsoever.

Do you mean they should bring you something?

Should they understand something that they don't understand?

I had an English teacher in high school who would write at the bottom of every paper: "NO GET/GOT! NO -THING WORDS!" I would go through my paper and try to eliminate all instances of the word "get or got," and it always made the sentence/paragraph/paper stronger.

Eliminating (or at least cutting down on) your usage of the word "get" increases the precision of your speech and writing. It is not even a matter of efficiency (in truth, it is more efficient to say "I get it," than to say "I understand the point at which you are driving,"), but by using a strong word in place of "get," you will be able to express yourself more accurately and precisely. I think George Orwell would agree.

Personally, I think it is a moot point most of the time in speech. Clarity in writing is essential because you can't explain yourself with any words other than those on the page.

How can anyone on the web possibly think there is no need for GET? Think about HTTP! Every browser and server would have to be rewritten to use only POST. An enormous blackout of the web would result untill all web software was replaced. Then all CGI programs and servlets would have to be rewritten. Every time you refreshed a dynamic web page you'd get that annoying "This page contains data that resulted from a POST operation: Do you want to resubmit? " message! Protect the precious word GET with all your might. You can have GET when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!

The English language has many roots - mainly Germanic, Nordic, and Romance - which means that almost any word you can think of can be replaced by an appropriate synonym.

(The tongue spoken by anglophones stems from disparate sources - primarily Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and French - with the outcome that practically every term therein has a valid and equivalent alternative.)

OK, enough of that. The Germanic languages, which can reasonably be seen as forming the structural basis for English, have a phenomenon of separable verbs - verbs with a prefix, generally prepositional, which in many forms of the verb is removed and gets put somewhere else in the sentence - Je moet oppassen - Pas op! - Ik heb opgepast; the sematic relationship between the stem, the prefix and the meaning of the compound is not always intuitively obvious. English has more or less kept this feature, but (as with that other Germanic characteristic, very long compound noun strings - Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsmütze) English leaves gaps between the component words. Certain verbal stems are very productive in this manner - nehmen and nemen in German and Dutch respectively, for example, and set, put and get in English.

These structures - prepositional and phrasal verbs are at the heart of the English vernacular, and are what native anglophones think of as the "easy" way to express something (which is a nightmare for language learners from Romance language backgrounds, since they have no apparent logic and a number of less than obvious rules - you can run a bill up but you can't run a hill up, although you can run up a hill or a bill) - it feels more intuitively obvious to most native anglophones to say "when does the train get in" than "when does the train arrive", although many foreigners will find the latter more straightforward. Removing "get" from the language would leave us unable to get on a train in hope of getting on with your fellow passengers, or possibly even getting off with them, or anything else you might get up to that you get off on, until you get to the place that you get off at.

So what sort of get would want to deprive us of that? They can get lost.


It should also be noted that "have got" is rather more common in British English than American; in colloquial BE "have" is used almost solely as an auxiliary verb, with "have got" used unambiguously to indicate possession. Conversely American English speakers ask their bar staff and waiters "Can I get ...?" where British usage has traditionally been "Can I have ...?" Although these differences may be eroding, they are strong in currently dominant strains of BE like estuary English. This is pretty much a spoken phenomenon, though - written BE avoids most forms of "get" in much the same way as the writer of the original node proposes.

And if we're going to be like that, the writer wishes it put on record that he was raised by a primary school teacher and a magazine editor.

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