Friday, March 10, 2017

Have Got

I found myself looking up "have got" on the internet the other day. Why? Because I was reading a book written by a British author and I was consistently seeing "have got" throughout the book, WHICH WAS DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Before you go wondering why I was so bothered, let me tell you this. The author was not using the phrase in this manner: I have got to go to the loo! That usage doesn't bother me so much, considering we use that sometimes as a way of emphasizing something. I have even heard myself mutter, "I have got to see that!" before.

What I found in my searching is that, according to a few sites, usage of "have got" is common in Britain (in place of just "have"). However, whether it's used frequently across the pond or by people over here, the combination just sounds plain wrong to me, especially when they use it in the present perfect sort of way.

So, "I'm sure my night terrors have got worse but then I guess that's not surprising . . ." should really say, "I'm sure my night terrors have gotten worse . . ." and "He'd have got in touch," should read "He'd have gotten in touch." And one more for you, ripped from this week's headlines, "Americans have choices, and they've got to make a choice." (In this instance, Jason Chaffetz could simply have used "have" when he spoke about low-income Americans and health insurance.)

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