I've had this discussion with many many English teaching friends over here from the US, UK, Canada, Oz and NZ and generally they agree.
What do they agree with, and why?
Originally Posted by Mercian
I teach that 'forgot' in this context is wrong, but acceptable conversational colloquial AE.
OK, but why, though, do you believe or feel it's "wrong", and in contrast, why do you believe or feel that it's acceptable? Moreover, what does converstaional colloquial AE mean exactly? Is that a euphemism for spoken American English, and if so, do students actually write, I left my homework at home? Additionally, why support your conclusion about the acceptability of spoken AE on judgements from non-AE speakers; i.e. UK, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand. How do their assumptions factor in here?
You don't need science, you're right. But, and what I can't seem to untangle here is that you seem to be basing your acceptability judgements on just that, a scientific method, albeit unscientifically: polling native English speakers from around the globe about the acceptability of an AE written form that's never actually used in writing. Where's the point in all of that? Please explain.
Forgot and left have quite different meanings - Forgot is an absence of thought - I stopped thinking about something - I failed to remember - I did not have it in mind.
Left means I deposited something, or failed to remove it from a place. (again slightly different meanings, one implying intent the other not )
Now, by not having your homework in mind, you may well have failed to remove it from your home, but they are two separate and distinct actions. the two verbs cannot be interchangeable. They may both be correct , but with different meanings
'I left my homework at home' Means I failed to remove my homework from home. Motive or intent is not mentioned
'I forgot my homework at home' means that while I was at home I stopped thinking about my homework. That could mean that I did not take it out of my bag - so I did not do it - but it is still in my bag here at school - and not done.
if the intention is to say that I do not have my homework here because it is at home due to my forgetfulness, then you need to say "I left my homework at home"
Imagine the scene.... Classroom at the beginning of the lesson... Teacher: Good morning everyone. Can I please have your homework. Jo I don't seem to have yours! Where is it? Jo:Oh Miss! I'm sorry I forgot (to bring) it! I left it at home! Teacher: And where is yours Sam? Have you forgotten too? Sam:Yeh miss.. sorry it was my birthday and I completely forgot! (to do it) Teacher: OK I shall expect both of you to remember to bring your completed homework to school tomorrow and give it to me before registration!
forgot being used here as the opposite of remembered
Forgetting your home work at home does not negate the fact that the homework was left at home. Whether or not it was purposefully or accidental is irrelevant.
Edit: I had stated that forgetting and leaving behind were not the same. This was true in a sense, and not true(i'm now slightly confused). Forgetting is leaving behind, but leaving behind does not necessarily mean forgetting. Because the issue at hand was whether or not the homework was left at home, and not why it was left at home, makes it possible for both answers to be acceptable.