Wednesday, April 3, 2013

We Gotta Get Out of This Habit

So, today I'm switching gears a little and will actually be writing content! Yes, I know, it's incredible... Today, I want to talk to you about a grammatical laziness that is rife throughout society, and that's the use of the words “got” and “get”.

See, when I was in grade school, I had this really wonderful teacher for both grades 3 and 5 (she recently passed away from brain cancer. RIP Mrs. Johannes). I recall her telling us that the use of “got” and “get” is almost always unnecessary, superfluous, and/or lazy, and she told us a story about a professor that would literally take out a pair of scissors and excise every use of those words from student's papers. When I started editing, I didn't really pay attention to this at first, but in the past several months I have started to, and she was so right.

Take these sentences for instance:
I've got to get going.

You've got to be kidding.

They had to get home.

Fairly typical usage. However, think about what those sentences are doing, and take “got” and “get out, and see what happens.
I have to leave now.

You have to be kidding or alternately You must be joking.

They had to return home.

You see how much better that sounds? Do yourself a favor and start to be aware of your use of these words. Try to deliberately remove them from your speech and writing patterns, and see how much cleaner it all sounds. Start a new habit—a habit of using correct grammar!


  1. I like this! You should write more posts on grammar/editing tips. :)

    1. I had written a number on Goodreads before they decided that providing an author page for an editor was wrong and deleted it, and all my posts. I'll try to recreate them here and there when I have a moment. This is just something I've had in the back of my head for a couple days :-)

  2. Katy:

    That was a fun and well written read and agree with Mrs. Johannes and you, of course. I have kind thoughts about some of my teachers, too.

    Shared on FB.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Cathy! I was just devastated to learn Mrs. Johannes was gone; she was one of my younger grade-school teachers, but the 2nd to go (the first was literally the youngest, a teacher we had straight out of school, and also lost to cancer). Good teachers are so hard to find!


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