Bring/Take
Posted: 14 November 2013 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was reading a novel by the Irish novelist John Banville when I came upon this sentence: “She had me bring the film for developing to her friend Serge.” I found it to be a little awkward.

One of OED’s definitions of bring: “...it implies motion towards the place where the speaker or auditor is, or is supposed to be, being in sense the casual of come; motion in the opposite direction is expressed by take...”

I did a little research and was informed that the Irish use Bring and take differently from British and American English. It follows the Gaelic grammar for beir and tóg. Beir can mean “bring” and “take” and tóg means take, but it can also mean “collect, build” and other meanings. But does this construction apply to Banville’s above sentence?

The book was published in America; I wonder whether such grammatical or orthographical differences are ever altered or disputed between author and publisher.

It also seems that the verbs come and go are equally confusing to many people.

[ Edited: 14 November 2013 11:21 PM by Logophile ]
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Posted: 14 November 2013 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FWIW, using bring this way is standard American as far as this American is concerned. I’m sure I’ve probably used it myself and I wouldn’t bat an eye if I heard someone else say it. You bring things with you when you go places. It’s easy to extend it out from there.

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Posted: 14 November 2013 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It sounds odd to Australian ears.

I remember in the South Park ep called Prehistoric Ice Man, Stan says, “Where shall we bring it?”, and I was all like “huh?”

Perfectly sensible usage of course, it is just not something we’d say.

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Posted: 15 November 2013 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I agree with happydog.

I wonder whether such grammatical or orthographical differences are ever altered or disputed between author and publisher.

They are indeed—both altered and disputed.  Helen DeWitt (among others) has written eloquently about this.

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