get bit
Posted: 21 April 2018 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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https://edition.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2018/04/21/stephen-colbert-brave-wilderness-bit-lizard-iguana-orig-gs.cnn/video/playlists/money-and-late-night-laughs/
Late-night host Stephen Colbert agreed to get bit by a lizard after an iguana had an accident all over his desk on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

I’m surprised to read “get bit” (rather than “get bitten") in a lede by a formal news outlet. Is this formulation now regarded as acceptable in a formal register?

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Posted: 21 April 2018 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m not at all surprised to see get bit in the headline, as those tend to use a clipped style, but get bitten is definitely the norm for edited prose.

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (1990–present) has 81 instances of get bitten, compared to 48 for get bit. When you limit the search to spoken English, roughly the same ratio persists, 23:13. Limiting it to newspapers only, you get 4:3, which, taking into account that these numbers are very small and one instance either way can radically shift the ratio, is also pretty much the same.

I would classify that as acceptable, but not the usual construction.

I had thought get bit would be more prevalent in spoken English, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I also thought that perhaps get bit would be more prevalent in figurative uses, but there are a lot of people who get bit by dogs. (I didn’t do a detailed analysis of literal vs. figurative; that would require going into and classifying each hit.)

But when you switch to the past tense, bit becomes more common than bitten. Got bitten:got bit is 33:56 overall, 11:19 in spoken English, and 7:8 in newspapers.

Also surprising is that this pattern only obtains when the participle is used with get. The ratio for be bitten:be bit is 46:5, and for was bitten:was bit it’s 155:23. So get bit appears to be something of an idiomatic form.

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Posted: 21 April 2018 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m surprised to read “get bit” (rather than “get bitten") in a lede by a formal news outlet. Is this formulation now regarded as acceptable in a formal register?

Both forms are accepted in the past participle; although, bitten is the more formal usage.

http://grammarist.com/usage/bit-bitten/

Personally bit used as a past participle doesn’t sound right, but I hear it all the time. Furthermore, I frequently read and hear the past tense used when the past participle is required. People seem to have problems with the past participle of drink. Especially when a contraction is used as; I’ve drank all night rather than, I’ve drunk all night.

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Posted: 28 April 2018 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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We would say “be/en bitten” or just “bitten” in the UK, not “get bit/ten”.

[ Edited: 28 April 2018 12:16 AM by ElizaD ]
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