Student or Learner
I've noticed a recent trend around native speakers (especially from the USA) using "was" as the past form to all persons, even in plural. "they was" "you was" "we was".. I get it when someone says something similar by mistake, but they use it as it was totally correct. So many years of teaching students that the plural of to be in the past is "were" and here we go heaaring people say "you was"..
I'm afraid, sezamek, that us native speakers have been messing with our verbs since the beginning of time. All you have to do, if you don't believe me, is watch an old American western or read a Dickens novel, and you'll find lots of fun variations on the standard, which, after all, is itself only a super-imposed dialect. My favourite is the traditional West Country (= southwest England) conjugation of the present of 'be': I be, you be, he be, she be, it be, we be, they be. There ain't nuthin' like English as she is spoke!
Well I know about all the dialects and variations, here I was referring to people.. let's say teenagers and aged 20- 30-something.. talking in such a way generally, and as far as I know they don't come from any specific region where any noticeable dialect is spoken
Hi, again! The term 'super-imposed dialect' is a sociolingiuistic term reflecting the fact that Standard English is the prestige variety of the language, lording it over regional varieties through its use by officialdom, academia, and literature - as someone once quipped "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy", but could have thrown in centralised government, education authority, and printing press, as well, for Standard English is really a written norm.
If the West Country example seems too extreme, it's still a fact that many native speakers have merrily muddled their conjugations and mangled their verbphrases in a non-Standard fashion for centuries. To be sure, consistently below-Standard speech is associated with less well-educated speakers, but the Colloquial speech of anybody will contain non-Standard forms.
Last edited by iconoclast; 23-Jun-2009 at 22:44. Reason: error
I am a native English speaker from the USA, and use of "was" for every tense sounds uneducated to many native speakers who use the language correctly. Unfortunately, a lot of the media that is being exported to other countries (movies, music, etc.) seem to be using the word in this way. Tied right into that is pronouncing the word "ask" as "axe", as in "let me axe you a question".
It is sad. Particularly for the fact that many people are speaking this way on purpose because they think it sounds hip.